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                         Clean Clothes Campaign
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 Clean Clothes Campaign
 International Secretariat
 P.O. Box 11584
 1001 GN Amsterdam
 Netherlands
 Tel: + 31 20 412 27 85
 Fax: + 31 20 412 27 86
 www.cleanclothes.org
 info@cleanclothes.org

 Cashing In: Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices,            The coordinators would also like to thank Carole
 and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                Crabbe, Evelyn Bahn, Ruth Domoney, Ernesto
                                                               Beckeringh and Ton de Heij for additional research
                                                               support, Celia Mather and Sonja Ullrich for editorial
                                                               support, and the CCC network for valuable input.

 This work is licensed under the Creative Commons              Design
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 To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecom-
 mons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/nl/ or send a letter to           Cover photo
 Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300,               Inge Bekkers
 San Francisco, California 94105, USA.
 It is possible to copy, distribute, and display this report   Back cover photo
 and to make derivative works under the following              Courtesy International Labor Rights Forum
 conditions: 1) Attribution. You must give the original
 author credit. 2) Non-Commercial. You may not use             Printing
 this work for commercial purposes.                            PrimaveraQuint
 For any reuse or distribution, you must make clear
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                                                               FSC logo to be placed by primaveraQuint
 Written by
 Martin Hearson for the Clean Clothes Campaign.

 Coordinated by
 Nina Ascoly and Jeroen Merk, with thanks to Esther
 de Haan for research coordination.
                                                                 The Clean Clothes Campaign (CCC) is dedicated
 All primary research is on file at the CCC International        to improving working conditions and support-
 Secretariat. The coordinators would like to thank the           ing the empowerment of workers in the global
 following team of researchers and research organisa-            garment and sportswear industries. Since 1989,
 tion who gathered input for this publication.                   the CCC has worked with trade unions, NGOs,
 Bangladesh: Korshed Alam of the Alternative                     and workers around the world to help ensure that
 Movement for Resources and Freedom Society.                     the fundamental rights of workers are respected.
 India: Centre for Education and Communication and               CCC educates and mobilises consumers, lobbies
 Suhasini Singh, Cividep-India, Bangalore. Sri Lanka:            companies and governments, and offers direct
 Free Trade Zones & General Services Employees                   solidarity support to workers as they fight for their
 Union. Thailand: Sripai Nonsee of the Asia Pacific              rights and demands better working conditions.
 Workers Solidarity Links (APWSL).
Cashing in
Giant retailers, purchasing practices, and
working conditions in the garment industry




                              Clean Clothes Campaign
Contents

*   Summary .......................................................................................................... 5
    Working excessive hours for poverty wages ................................................................... 6
    Workers deprived of a voice ............................................................................................ 6
    Lack of job security ......................................................................................................... 6
    Purchasing practices to blame ........................................................................................ 7
    Women bear the brunt ..................................................................................................... 7
    Giant size means giant responsibility .............................................................................. 8


1   Introduction .................................................................................................... 11


2   Meet the Giants .............................................................................................. 15
    Concerns about giant retailers ...................................................................................... 17
    Conclusion: Growth at any cost .................................................................................... 18


3   Giant Retailers & Labour Rights ..................................................................... 21
    What the Giants say they are doing .............................................................................. 21
    A history of exploitation and union busting ................................................................... 24
    Conclusion: Reality falls far short of the rhetoric .......................................................... 26
    About our research countries ........................................................................................ 27
          Bangladesh ............................................................................................................. 27
          India..... ................................................................................................................... 27
          Sri Lanka ................................................................................................................. 27
          Thailand .................................................................................................................. 27


4   Wages & Working Hours ................................................................................. 29
    Far from a living wage ................................................................................................... 29
    Why the minimum wage is not enough ......................................................................... 29
    Wages and working hours in the Giants’ suppliers ....................................................... 30
          Pay too low to live off ............................................................................................. 32
          Overtime: unpaid and compulsory ......................................................................... 26
    Conclusion: Basic needs are not met............................................................................ 28


5   Freedom of Association .................................................................................. 35
    The dangers of speaking out ......................................................................................... 35
    Reality check: Trade union rights in law ........................................................................ 36
    Trade union rights in the Giants’ suppliers .................................................................... 37
    Conclusion: Workers deprived of a voice ...................................................................... 38


6   Precarious Employment ................................................................................. 41
    Growing use of precarious labour ................................................................................. 41
          Pay and conditions much worse ............................................................................ 42
    Conclusion: Lack of job security ................................................................................... 43
7     Why the Giants’ Business Model is at Fault ................................................... 45
      Making a mockery of compliance ................................................................................. 45
      The ‘tick box’ approach is not enough .......................................................................... 46
            Sourcing structures: How the Giants divide and rule their suppliers ..................... 47
            Speed and uncertainty are bad for garment workers ............................................. 48
            Impossible prices mean impossible wages ............................................................ 49
      Conclusion: Trying to have it both ways........................................................................ 51


8     Women Workers: Bearing the Brunt ............................................................... 53
      The triple burden at work in the garment industry ........................................................ 53
            More likely to be in jobs where labour rights abuses are common ........................ 53
            More susceptible to labour rights abuses .............................................................. 54
            Labour rights abuses have a bigger impact ........................................................... 55
      Conclusion: Squeezed the hardest ............................................................................... 56


9     Recommendations .......................................................................................... 59
      1.    Actions for all companies in the garment supply chain .......................................... 59
                 Implementing labour standards ........................................................................ 59
      2a. Actions for the giant retailers in key areas of concern ........................................... 59
                 Promoting access to freedom of association ................................................... 60
                 Paying a living wage ......................................................................................... 60
                 Security of employment .................................................................................... 60
                 Gender equality ................................................................................................. 61
      2b. Actions for giant retailers concerning the implementation of labour standards ..... 61
                 Traceability and transparency ........................................................................... 61
                 No cut and run .................................................................................................. 61
                 Purchasing practices ........................................................................................ 61
                 Responsible retailing practices ......................................................................... 61
      3.    Governments .......................................................................................................... 62
            Labour legislation ................................................................................................... 62
            Trade and investment agreements ......................................................................... 62
            Retailer accountability ............................................................................................ 62


Annex: Flaws in Giant Retailers’ Codes of Conduct .............................................. 65


Endnotes... ............................................................................................................ 69
At a time of financial
crisis the millions
of women employed
in factories and
workshops are paying
for the profits of the
Giants.
* Summary

This is a report about giant retailers – often referred to as supermarkets or big
box retailers – such as Walmart, Tesco, Carrefour, Lidl, and Aldi. What makes
these retailers special is their size: their global reach and their huge market
share in many countries. Using their size to dominate suppliers and push them
into offering lower prices is how the Giants do business.




It is also a report about the clothing industry, in which                           “I leave home at six in the morning and come back
the giant retailers are big players. In the UK, for exam-                           home at nine in the evening”, she says. “I leave when
ple, more than a quarter of all clothing is bought from                             my daughter is still in her dreams and come back
chain stores that also sell groceries. One in two Ger-                              home to see her gone to sleep. She sees my face only
man shoppers buys clothing in discounters such as                                   one day of the week.”
Aldi and Lidl. And Carrefour is Europe’s fourth-largest
clothing retailer.                                                                  Or women like Salma and Kusum, who work in a
                                                                                    factory in Bangladesh supplying Lidl, Carrefour, and
But most importantly, it’s a report about the people –                              Walmart.
mostly women – who make the clothes on sale in giant
retailers. Women like Amanthi in Sri Lanka, who sews                                “Coming home I feel so drained that I do not even feel
clothes for Tesco.                                                                  like eating”, says Salma. Kusum adds, “At times it gets
                                                                                    unbearable and I cry. After a while I have to put myself
                                                                                    together because there is no other way, I must keep
                                                                                    working.”
  Shopping at the Giants                                                            During 2008, Clean Clothes Campaign researchers
                                                                                    spoke to 440 such workers in 30 workplaces across
                                                                                    four countries - Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and Thai-
                                                                                    land. All of the workplaces were producing clothes for
  $ 345,000,000,000 (€ 253,000,000,000):                                            one or more of the five retailers who are the subject of
  Walmart’s total sales in 2007,                                                    our report: Aldi, Carrefour, Lidl, Tesco and Walmart.
  equivalent to US$ 10,940 (€ 8,035) per
  second. 1                                                                         It is these women and their families who are absorbing
                                                                                    the costs as giant retailers push their garment sup-
  25,000,000: the number of people who                                              pliers into agreeing to lower prices, faster turnaround
  shop at Carrefour every day.                                                      times, and greater uncertainty. Purchasing practices
                                                                                    that increase pressure on suppliers are only possible
                                                                                    because of women workers’ disempowered, disad-
  1 in 7 euros spent in British shops is spent
                                                                                    vantaged position, which means they have no option
  at Tesco.
                                                                                    but to accept whatever conditions of employment are
                                                                                    on offer.
  80% of German consumers shop at Aldi.
                                                                                    Worse, the impact on patterns and terms of employ-
  24 European countries have Lidl stores.                                           ment serves to further entrench that disadvantage.
  Only five of the EU 27 do not.                                                    As belts tighten at a time of financial crisis, women
                                                                                    workers and their families are subsidising the profits




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                                                             5
of giant retailers through poor working conditions and                         night. This is full-day work. We’ve to work thirty days
terms of employment, and poverty wages. They can-                              in a month like this.”
not, and should not have to, afford to provide these                           Woman at a Carrefour supplier, India
subsidies, but economic necessity leaves them with
no choice. Far from lifting women out of poverty, the                          Third, and most outrageously given their difficulty
Giants are cashing in on it.                                                   making ends meet, these women and men are not
                                                                               even paid for the extra hours that they do. The notion
                                                                               that overtime should be compensated at a premium
Working excessive hours for                                                    rate is a long way off when in most cases it is not
poverty wages                                                                  compensated at all.

                                                                               “We do a lot of overtime. Almost every day there is
“I feel so sick and tired after a day’s work that I do                         at least one hour extra. We are called on Sundays as
not want to work the next day. But hunger does not                             well. However, our monthly wage slip will not show all
allow thinking of sickness, the thought of living with an                      the overtime that we do. It will quote only 1-2 hours as
empty stomach makes everything else forgotten. We                              overtime in a month.”
work to save ourselves from hunger.”                                           Woman at a Tesco supplier, India

Woman at a Walmart and Carrefour supplier, Bangladesh



Garment workers in the Giants’ supply chains should                            Workers deprived of a voice
have the right to earn a living wage – one that meets
their basic needs and those of their families – within a                       “If we try to form a union we will lose our job. So I do
working week of no more than 48 hours. Our research                            not want any union.”
shows that they are robbed of this right, three times                          Worker at a Lidl and Walmart supplier, Bangladesh
over.
                                                                               The litmus test of whether any brand or retailer is
First, low hourly wages mean that they are deprived                            taking its responsibility seriously is not that a trade
of the right to earn a living wage, no matter how hard                         union forms in a workplace, but that workers have the
they work. In Bangladesh, the lowest basic wage (be-                           confidence that if they were to try to organise, there
fore overtime) was € 13.50 a month at an Aldi supplier;                        would be no retaliation. This requires strong signals
the lowest take-home wage (including overtime) was                             from the buyer to workers and management, and ef-
€ 21 at a Lidl and Walmart supplier. In India, unskilled                       fective education by trusted local people. In not one
workers started on € 45 per month, and in Sri Lanka,                           case from our sample was this evident, and in nearly
the figure was € 33.50. Nowhere do workers earn a                              every case workers stated that management’s attitude
wage that meets their basic needs.                                             would make it impossible to form a trade union.

“We have to sleep in crowded rooms made out of                                 “Are you joking? We are not even allowed to talk to
wooden planks for walls. The rooms do not get                                  each other inside or in the premises of the company.
enough ventilation. And there is no escape from                                And you are talking about unions [...] One can never
mosquitoes... I use the meagre salary I receive very                           even imagine building a union in our company.”
frugally as I have to pay for the boarding house and                           Worker in a Carrefour factory, India
spend for food while sending some money home for
sisters’ studies.”                                                             For example, at an Aldi supplier in Bangladesh, one
Woman in a Sri Lankan factory supplying Tesco, Walmart and Carrefour           male worker had been fired for association with a
                                                                               trade union, while two female workers were not only
Second, their free time is stolen by managers who                              sacked but forced to leave the neighbourhood for
force them to stay late. The 48 hour basic working                             attempting to organise workers. Workers recounted
week is a meaningless concept when overtime is com-                            management tactics to stifle dissent that included
pulsory and a daily occurrence, and even the 60 hour                           beatings, firings, and raising false legal charges
with-overtime maximum is frequently ignored. Workers                           against workers.
in a Sri Lankan factory supplying Tesco said they
worked an average of more than 64 hours per week.                              “If you form a union, you will be out. You will be
Of ten factories surveyed in Bangladesh, no factory                            evicted at any time without any prior notice. It has also
had a regular working week of less than 60 hours;                              been mentioned in the call letter.”
more than half exceeded this, and in four the average                          Worker at a Tesco supplier, India
week was over 80 hours.

“We have to work from 9 in the morning till 1 in the
night. We can’t choose to work only during day or




6                                                            Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
Lack of job security                                                                Giants’ purchasing practices create a number of pres-
                                                                                    sures that are bad for workers.
“Workers coming directly from the company will be
paid more. Others hired through contractors will be                                 “Of course the buyer [Walmart] has many compliance
paid less than them.”                                                               standards. If we try to implement all of them, we can
Worker at a Carrefour supplier, Delhi                                               sit at home. No production will happen... To ask us to
                                                                                    complete production with a code of conduct is one
Our research in India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand has                                  thing and to implement it is another thing.”
shown that workers producing clothes for giant retail-                              Factory manager, Tirupur, India
ers do not have the right to job security and perma-
nent employment. Workers employed by contractors                                    First, there is a selective pressure on the suppliers
and those on temporary contracts face lower pay,                                    they use. The low prices and other poor purchasing
poorer conditions, and a constant fear that they will                               practices associated with giant retailers bias their sup-
lose their jobs. In a Tesco supplier in Sri Lanka, more                             ply chains towards factories whose owners are more
than half the workforce were employed on casual con-                                desperate or less scrupulous than might otherwise be
tracts, compared to just a few in another Tesco sup-                                the case.
plier: twice as many workers in this first factory said
that they were afraid of losing their jobs. The turnover                            “If I personally feel that the costs cannot be covered,
of temporary workers and the ease with which they                                   I will not take those orders. Even if we reject an order,
can be dismissed means it is even harder for them to                                there are many buying houses here that take up the
join a trade union.                                                                 same orders with the target price the buyer quotes or
                                                                                    even less... I do not know how they manage.”
“Unionisation seems impracticable. People working on                                Walmart supplier, India
behalf of some company can do that because they are
permanent there, [but] the interference of contractor is                            Second, the pressure created by competing demands
so huge that people can’t come together.”                                           of good working conditions and faster, cheaper
Walmart worker, India                                                               production can be relieved through cheating the
                                                                                    compliance procedures. Our research uncovered
This is not a question of a few workers brought in                                  faked time-sheets and payslips, workers forced to lie
every so often to help with an urgent order; it is a                                to inspectors, and many other such tricks . Whatever
systematic and spreading use of precarious forms of                                 store the Giants may place on social audits in their
employment both to manage fluctuating orders and to                                 head offices and public statements, the evidence
further tip the power balance in favour of employers.                               cited in this report demonstrates that their staff on the
                                                                                    ground are blasé about the gap between conditions in
“I worry about my security. I don’t have job security                               factories and those reported in audits.
because we are subcontracted. I am always afraid that
I will have no money to pay in a month.”                                            “You know Asda [Walmart’s UK subsidiary]. They are
Tesco supplier, Thailand                                                            the worst. They keep on giving changes until the last
                                                                                    minute. After that we will be finding it so difficult to fin-
In Thailand, workers in subcontracting workshops                                    ish production before the shipment date. But they will
supplying Tesco and Walmart faced some of the worst                                 never accept that it is their fault.”
working conditions. Hours were longer, pay was lower,                               Walmart supplier, India
and many workers had given up and left because they
couldn’t survive.                                                                   Third and finally, the time and cost pressures are
                                                                                    passed on directly to workers in the form of insecure,
                                                                                    poorly paid employment. In effect, garment workers
Purchasing practices to blame                                                       are subsidising the low prices on supermarket shelves.
                                                                                    The subsidies come in the form of two widespread
“To be honest, if we try to implement all these stand-                              cost-cutting measures: the increasing use of contract
ards, there will be no suppliers left who can make                                  workers, and systematic, unpaid, compulsory over-
garments.”                                                                          time.
Tesco sourcing employee, India
                                                                                    “[Tesco] Lotus pays us less for difficult products. We
Giant retailers favour purchasing practices that aim                                have to spend much more time but get much less
to get the maximum flexibility and the lowest prices                                money... We feel very stressed working for Lotus. They
from their suppliers. At the same time, they say that                               give us very little time.”
they are improving the systems they have in place to                                Subcontracting workers, Thailand
enforce their codes of conduct on labour rights. These
two factors are frequently in tension, because the




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                               7
Women bear the brunt                                                             Giant size means giant
                                                                                 responsibility
“I am a girl but I do not have a pair of earrings. I do
not have means of dressing fashionably because the
pay I get is hardly enough to afford everything. What                            Giant retailers say they are taking steps to resolve the
could I do?”                                                                     abuses of labour rights throughout their supply chains.
Woman in a Sri Lankan factory                                                    But it’s clear from the evidence we found that these
                                                                                 steps are not enough – and, further, that the Giants’
Time and cost pressures on a workplace lead to poor                              purchasing practices are making matters worse.
pay and working conditions, trade union suppres-                                 Giant retailers and their suppliers should:
sion, and insecure employment. But these impacts on
workers are not distributed equally: they fall dispro-                           1. Adopt a code of conduct with labour standards
portionately on women. Women are more likely to                                     equivalent to or higher than those set out in the
be in jobs where labour rights abuses are common,                                   CCC Code of Conduct. The code should apply
including precarious forms of work.                                                 to workers at every stage in the supply chain,
                                                                                    including those in retail and distribution as well in
Women are more susceptible to labour rights abuses                                  manufacture.
when they occur. Productive, reproductive and
domestic responsibilities constrain women’s ability                              2. Implement, monitor and verify compliance with the
to seek other work, to take action to improve their                                 code through direct engagement with trade unions
working conditions, or to speak out about the abuse                                 and labour rights groups in a credible multi-stake-
they face. Cultural and economic constraints create                                 holder initiative (MSI), in which these organisa-
obstacles to women workers speaking out about their                                 tions are represented at all decision-making levels
conditions and joining a trade union.                                               up to the very highest.

“This factory has mainly women workers, so we can                                In doing so, pay special attention to:
not call strikes.”
Woman at a Lidl and Walmart supplier, Bangladesh                                      •	 Taking proactive and identifiable measures to
                                                                                         promote access to freedom of association. All
In our research we found frequent examples of gender                                     workers should have the right to form and join
discrimination, especially in Bangladesh: women                                          unions and other representative bodies of their
workers earning less than male workers, and with less                                    own choosing, and to engage in bona fide col-
opportunity for promotion; and beatings and verbal                                       lective bargaining with their employers.
insults - many of them sexual - were the rule, not the                                •	 Developing a methodology to determine and
exception.                                                                               implement a living wage, and in the meantime
                                                                                         taking immediate steps to increase wages.
“They use language I cannot tell you. It makes you feel                                  Living wage figures should be based on regular
so dirty that you want to leave the job.”                                                working hours and apply to all workers.
Woman at a Bangladeshi factory supplying Walmart, Carrefour, and Lidl                 •	 Eliminating gender-based abuse and discrimi-
                                                                                         nation, including differences in recruitment, pay,
In most of the ten factories we visited in Bangladesh,                                   training and promotion.
we found cases of heavily pregnant women forced to                                    •	 Ensuring that workers undertaking a factory’s
work the same hours as everyone else – including late                                    principle work have the right to permanent em-
evening shifts and even night shifts in some cases –                                     ployment. Precarious forms of employment
right up until they went on maternity leave.                                             should not be used to undercut the legal rights
                                                                                         and benefits to which permanent employees are
“If the factory works until 10, the pregnant workers                                     entitled.
have to work until that time as well.”                                                •	 Disclosing factory names, locations and audit
Woman at a Walmart, Carrefour, and Lidl supplier, Bangladesh                             results.
                                                                                      •	 Not cutting and running from suppliers when
All but two of the ten Bangladeshi factories had a                                       violations are found.
room that acted as a childcare centre, but workers
explained that in half of those with childcare centres,                          3. Assess the impact of their purchasing practices on
supplying all five of the Giants between them, these                                all workers, take steps to remediate the negative
rooms were only used when the factories were visited                                impacts, and communicate the results of assess-
by buyers or auditors.                                                              ment and remediation to workers throughout the
                                                                                    supply chain, their representatives and the public.




8                                                              Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
4. Set retail prices in a responsible manner. Refrain
   from advertising that creates consumer expecta-
   tions of unsustainably low prices.

Governments throughout the supply chain – in coun-
tries where garments are made and where they are
sold – should:

1. Ratify, implement and enforce all relevant Conven-
   tions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
   Ensure that national labour legislation upholds
   internationally-recognised standards and is en-
   forced effectively; Emphasis should be placed on
   a robust legal framework for trade union rights, on
   setting minimum wages that are living wages, and
   on ensuring that precarious forms of employment
   are not used to undercut the legal rights and ben-
   efits to which permanent employees are entitled.
   Promote respect for workers’ rights through and
   within the ILO.

2. Ensure that concessions made to foreign direct
   investors allow host countries to regulate their in-
   vestment and labour markets, and enforce existing
   labour law. Include mechanisms to hold all supply
   chain actors to account in their home countries for
   actions that undermine respect for workers’ rights
   throughout the supply chain.

3. Put in place a legal framework that holds giant
   retailers to account for workers’ rights violations
   throughout their supply chains, and gives work-
   ers a legal right of redress. This legal mechanism
   should exist both in countries where the products
   concerned are sold and in the country where the
   retailer is headquartered.




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry   9
The business models
that make the Giants’
everyday low prices
possible rely on
subsidies from millions
of people around the
globe.
Chapter 1

Introduction

Few companies dominate the lives of consumers and workers as much as the
giant retailers of the world, global companies often known as supermarkets,
big box retailers, or – as we refer to them here – the Giants. In many Western
countries, this handful of retailers has become embedded in national cultures
and identities; the regular shopping trip to their stores is now a ritual part of life.




The giant model of retail is one of Europe and North
America’s major exports too. Giant retailers - of which                             Retailers such as
two of the top three are from the US and France – ac-
count for 40 percent of all retail sales in Brazil.2 The
story is similar for the rest of Latin America as well as
                                                                                    Lidl and Aldi take
South Africa, where around half of all grocery sales are
at supermarkets.3 The biggest scramble is for China                                 the ‘pile ‘em high,
which, in 2006, had outlets of 35 of the world’s 50 big-
gest retailers: a country that had just one supermarket
in 19904 had acquired over 70,000 in just 16 years.5
                                                                                    sell ‘em cheap’
Around the globe, it is predominantly women who                                     maxim to its
shop for their families at the giant retailers;6 they
buy products grown, picked and manufactured by a
mostly female workforce. The majority of the people
                                                                                    extreme.
who keep the shelves stocked up, stores clean, and
tills ringing are women too. By contrast, a glance into
the Giants’ boardrooms shows that it is rarely women
who hold the company purse strings or take home the
seven-figure salaries.

Giant retailers are known for their low prices, large
shares of the retail market, and the huge volumes in                                Carrefour, whose chain of stores worldwide serves
which they sell products, covering a diverse range                                  25 million customers every day.8 UK-based Tesco
from banking to pharmaceuticals to groceries. In some                               takes one euro in every seven spent in British shops,9
countries, it is possible to buy almost everything one                              and serves 30 million people worldwide each week.10
needs or wants from the leading giant retailers.                                    Globally, these three retailers alone have outlets in 43
                                                                                    countries on four continents.
They have expanded their store networks across
dozens of countries. King among them is American                                    Snapping at their heels are a group of retailers known
retailer Walmart: with a turnover in 2007 of US$345bn                               as the ‘hard discounters’, some of the few retailers
(€ 253bn) it is not only the world’s biggest retailer, but                          whose business is booming as consumers start to feel
also its biggest company. Around the world, 175 mil-                                the bite of the global economic troubles. These retail-
lion people visit Walmart each week.7                                               ers, such as Lidl and Aldi, take the ‘pile ‘em high, sell
                                                                                    ‘em cheap’ maxim to its extreme, stocking ranges of
Walmart may be the biggest, but it is far from alone in                             just a few hundred products, and shunning well-known
giant retail. Europe’s biggest retailer is France’s                                 brands in favour of cheap private labels.




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                                                          11
Hard discounters are expected to increase their share              and thousands of the factories supplying them are
of European grocery retailing – the core of their sales            inspected every year.
– from 17.6% to 19.5% by 2012, although this figure
could be even higher as shoppers switch allegiance                 Yet despite all this, it is no secret that poor working
during an economic downturn.11 Aldi opened 100 new                 conditions and violations of the standards that the
stores in 2008 in the US alone, and now has nearly                 Giants themselves have signed up to are widespread
1,000 outlets there, serving more than 15 million cus-             in the workplaces where their products are made. The
tomers each month.12                                               giant retailers have also been subject to many allega-
                                                                   tions of poor working conditions closer to home, too,
As Chapter 2 of this report explores, giant retailers are          in their retail and distribution outlets. These are also
becoming more and more significant in the clothing                 described in Chapter 3.
industry, as they are in almost every corner of retail.
Already in 2005, supermarkets accounted for € 54                   Furthermore, these problems are getting worse, not
billion of global clothing and footwear sales – 6% of              better. Workers are still paid wages much too low
the total.13                                                       for them and their families to live off, forced to work
                                                                   long hours of overtime to make ends meet. More and
The immense breadth and depth of the giant retailers’              more workers are employed on temporary contracts,
clothing supply chains makes them important players                with no guarantee of a future income. Stories of
in the world of labour rights, a responsibility that the           verbal, physical and sexual abuse abound; in practice
Giants claim to take seriously.                                    workers have no right to join a trade union, no-one
                                                                   to defend their rights. Women – the majority of the
“It is of course one of our main concerns that com-                workforce – are more vulnerable to these abuses of
modities are produced under decent working condi-                  their rights, and more affected by them when they take
tions”, Aldi’s Ralf-Thomas Reichrath has written.14 “At            place.
Walmart, we are committed to behaving in an ethical,
socially responsible manner, using our resources and               Chapters 4 to 8 set out the results of new research
energy to create positive change”, says outgoing chief             commissioned for this report and conducted during
executive Lee Scott.15 Tesco chief Sir Terry Leahy                 2008. Our research teams interviewed a total of 440
claims to be equally committed: “Corporate respon-                 workers in 30 factories supplying Lidl, Aldi, Tesco,
sibility is not an additional burden or a distraction              Walmart and Carrefour. Researchers met with work-
from serving our customers; it is an essential part of             ers outside the factories, often at their homes. Many
sustaining ourselves as a responsible company.” 16                 reported that it took some time to gain the trust of
                                                                   workers in order to get an honest reflection of work-
We describe in Chapter 3 what this ‘commitment’                    ing conditions. To protect the identity of the workers,
means in practice. The Giants have all signed up to                we have concealed their names and the identity of
declarations that promise a certain level of working               the factories. In addition to individual interviews, we
conditions for the women and men manufacturing the                 conducted focus group discussions with workers,
products they sell. As members of various initiatives              secondary research, and interviews with local NGOs
that say they aim to implement these standards, they               and industry members. We also spoke to five staff
spend millions of euros each year on ‘ethical trading’,            employed directly by giant retailers, six indirect buying
                                                                   agents, twelve factory managers, and two ethical trad-
                                                                   ing consultants.17

                                                                   There is more to take from our research than the
                                                                   lack of basic rights, respect and dignity for workers
                                                                   producing clothes for the giant retailers – though this
                                                                   is shocking enough in itself. Chapter 7 shows how the

Violations of the                                                  giant retailers undermine their own ethical standards
                                                                   on a daily basis, through purchasing relationships with
                                                                   suppliers that not only make violations of labour rights
standards that the                                                 more likely – they make them inevitable.


Giants themselves                                                  The economies of scale and streamlined business
                                                                   models that make possible the Giants’ everyday low
                                                                   prices – and their everyday high profits – are not sim-
have signed up to                                                  ply the benign tools of benevolent business. They rely
                                                                   on subsidies from millions of people across the globe.

are widespread.                                                    For women working in garment factories, these sub-
                                                                   sidies are in the form of poor conditions and terms of




12                                               Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
employment and poverty wages - subsidies that they
cannot and should not have to afford, and which are
largely imposed on them by economic necessity. At a
time of financial crisis, as belts tighten and families the
world over struggle to make ends meet, the millions of
women employed in factories and workshops across
the globe are still paying for the profits of giant
retailers.




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry   13
The collateral damage
of Giant retailer strategy
is the destruction of
local communities,
livelihoods, and the
environment, and the
exploitation of people
throughout the supply
chain.
Chapter 2

Meet the Giants

Giant retailers such as Walmart, Tesco, Carrefour, Lidl, and Aldi are big players
in clothing retail. In the UK, for example, more than a quarter of all clothing is
bought from chain stores that also sell groceries.18 One in two German shoppers
buys clothing in discounters such as Aldi and Lidl.19 And Carrefour is Europe’s
fourth-largest clothing retailer.20




These retailers are taking a growing share of retail-                               Table 1: Profit and sales at the Giants compared
ing overall and of the clothing market in particular.                               to leading clothing retailers (€ billions) 21
But they are not the same as clothing specialists,
with product lines restricted to clothing. They have
                                                                                     Company                  Total turnover      Profit
distinguishing characteristics that make them much
more powerful than these clothing only retailers. Their                              Walmart                  253                 15.06
growth has generated considerable controversy and
                                                                                     Carrefour                83                  3.3
criticism.
                                                                                     Tesco                    76.7                4.16
First and foremost is the Giants’ size. Table 1 shows                                Schwartz Group (Lidl)    52
that in turnover they are far bigger than the world’s
                                                                                     Aldi                     47
two biggest clothing specialists. And, as table 2
shows, they generate more money in a year than many                                  Gap                      11,60               0,97
of the countries in which they retail and source.
                                                                                     Inditex                  9.9                 1.7

As discussed later in this report, a key aspect of the
Giants’ business model involves taking advantage of
their size – a ‘virtuous circle’ shown in Figure 1. Retail-
ers such as Lidl have taken out huge loans, leveraged                               Table 2: Turnover of the Giants compared to the
against the size of their business, to fund their interna-                          GDP of garment exporting countries featured in
tional expansion.23 The capital available to Tesco has                              this report 22
allowed it to finance a rapid expansion into the US at a
cost of billions of euros.
                                                                                                             2007, US$ billions   2007, € billions

Size brings with it economies of scale, which help                                   India                   1099                 807
retailers to cut costs. For example, in 1999, a pair of
                                                                                     Walmart                 345                  253
basic jeans at the British supermarket chain Asda
would have cost € 23. Three years later, following a                                 Thailand                246                  181
takeover by the US giant Walmart, the cost had more
                                                                                     Carrefour               113                  83
than halved to € 9.24 Now those jeans cost just € 4.25
As for food retail, Figure 2 shows a strong correlation                              Tesco                   105                  77
between the prices paid by British supermarkets to                                   Bangladesh              72                   53
their food suppliers, and their market shares.
                                                                                     Lidl/Schwartz group     71                   52

Chapter 7 explores the ways in which Giants use their                                Aldi                    64                   47
buying power to achieve better terms from their gar-
                                                                                     Sri Lanka               30                   22
ment suppliers.




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                                                                     15
Figure 1: Survival of the cheapest                                   Figure 2: Relationship between market share
                                                                     and price paid to suppliers 26




                                                                  Price paid to suppliers relative
                                                                                                     106
                                                                                                     105
                                                                                                     104
                                                                                                     103
                                                                                                     102
                                                                                                     101
Economies of scale,                         Growing market                                           100




                                                                  to average %
  buying powers                                 share                                                 99
                                                                                                      98
                                                                                                      97
                                                                                                      96
                                                                                                      95
                                                                                                           0   5   10   15      20       25       30
                        Low retail
                         prices                                                                                              Retailer market share %




Another important characteristic is the Giants’ growing              videos, and DVDs. The mega-retailer did not add mag-
reach into so many parts of the retail sector. Tesco,                azines to its mix until the mid-1990s, but it now makes
Carrefour and Walmart are the leading grocers in their               15% of all single-copy sales in the US.31
home countries, with a third27, quarter28 and fifth29 of
their home countries’ grocery markets respectively,                  “Interestingly, the driver in the European food retailing
and all are on the increase. Aldi and Lidl dominate the              market has generally been the development of non-
German discount retail sector, with more than a 50%                  foods”,
market share between them.30
                                                                     said Richard Perks, director of retail research at mar-
But this is not the only area in which they have major               ket research agency Mintel also in 2003.32
market share. An article in BusinessWeek magazine
describes how, already in 2003, Walmart was:                         Then there is the Giants’ global reach. Collectively, as
                                                                     Figure 3 shows, the five giant retailers discussed in
… the nation’s largest grocer [and] its third-largest                this report have retail operations on six continents. In
pharmacy... In household staples such as toothpaste,                 every case their impact is to drive consolidation in the
shampoo, and paper towels, the company commands                      rest of the market, as grocers expand, merge or take
about 30% of the US market, and analysts predict that                each other over in a scramble to match the Giants’
its share of many such goods could hit 50% before                    size.
decade’s end. Walmart also is Hollywood’s biggest
outlet, accounting for 15% to 20% of all sales of CDs,               At home, the Giants are often scraping the barrel for
                                                                     more customers, engaging in repeated price wars,
                                                                     lunging into each other’s territory, and picking off the
                                                                     last remaining bits of the market. This lies behind the
                                                                     rapid expansion of the ‘deep discounters’ like Aldi
                                                                     and Lidl, whose strategy is to undercut the supermar-
                                                                     kets and attract customers, especially in the current
                                                                     climate of economic uncertainty. It also lies behind
                                                                     new formats like Tesco’s Metro stores and Carrefour’s
                                                                     Express shops, which break into a different market –

The five giant                                                       convenience shopping.

                                                                     Overseas expansion creates a bigger company,
retailers discussed                                                  increasing the Giants’ buying power. It also opens up
                                                                     new markets in which competition is not as fierce and

in this report have
                                                                     markets are a long way from being mature. When they
                                                                     expand into new countries, the Giants’ approach is
                                                                     usually to buy up a leading retail chain and aim for the

retail operations on                                                 Number One spot as quickly as possible.34 In 2005,
                                                                     Tesco and Carrefour announced an asset swap, in

six continents.                                                      which Tesco sold its Taiwanese stores to Carrefour,
                                                                     in return for the French chain’s Czech and Slovakian




16                                              Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
stores.35 The deal enabled both to have a bigger                                    Concerns about giant retailers
market share, as if they had agreed that, “This country
ain’t big enough for the two of us.”                                                The growth of giant retailers has not come without
                                                                                    controversy. A wide range of organisations has taken
As the branches of the Giants’ retail operations are                                them on, arguing that their transformative impact on
expanding ever further, so are their roots – the supply                             societies, economies and the environment is matter of
chains through which they source the products they                                  significant concern. These groups include:38
sell. Items in one small sample of women’s clothes we
found on sale in Carrefour in Belgium in summer 2008                                1. Labour rights advocates and trade unions have
were manufactured in Bangladesh, China, Greece,                                        criticised supermarkets for the working condi-
Hong Kong, India, Mauritius, Pakistan, Romania, Ser-                                   tions in their retail and distribution outlets, and in
bia & Montenegro, and Turkey.                                                          particular for anti-union practices. For example, in
                                                                                       2007, retail unions in Germany, France, Romania,
The Giants’ extensive sourcing operations dem-                                         Croatia, the Czech Republic, and Poland engaged
onstrate how deeply their roots extend. Walmart                                        in coordinated protests against Lidl’s “harsh
has sourcing offices in 23 countries as far apart as                                   employer policies.” 39 Evidence of poor working
Singapore, Spain, and Sri Lanka, from which its staff                                  conditions in the supply chains of giant retailers
manage buying from almost every country in the                                         has been frequent. This is discussed in more detail
world. The US Giant’s main root is in China, from                                      in Chapter 3.
where it sources € 6.2 billion of manufactured goods
every year, but also where it sells € 2.4 billion worth of                          2. Environmental organisations raise a number
products in its rapidly expanding network of stores.36 If                              of concerns including the distance that products
Walmart were a country, it would be China’s sixth big-                                 travel to be stocked on supermarket shelves,
gest trading partner, ahead of the UK and Russia.37                                    ‘out of town’ stores that take up rural land and




Table 3: Global retail operations of giant retailers


                                           Carre-                 Wal-                                              Carre-           Wal-
                    Lidl        Aldi                  Tesco                                         Lidl    Aldi             Tesco
                                           four                   mart                                              four             mart
Algeria                                    X                                         Jordan                         X
Argentina                                  X                      X                  Kuwait                         X
Australia                       X                                                    Luxembourg     X       X
Austria             X           X                                                    Malaysia                       X        X
Belgium             X           X          X                                         Malta          X
Brazil                                     X                      X                  Mexico                                          X
Canada                                                            X                  Netherlands    X       X
China                                      X          X           X                  Nicaragua                                       X
Columbia                                   X                                         Oman                           X
Costa Rica                                                        X                  Poland         X       X       X        X
Croatia             X                                                                Portugal       X       X       X
Cyprus              X                      X          X                              Puerto Rico                                     X
Czech Republic      X                                 X                              Qatar                          X
Denmark             X           X                                                    Romania                        X
Dom. Republic                              X                                         Saudi Arabia                   X
Egypt                                      X                                         Singapore                      X
El Salvador                                                       X                  Slovakia       X                        X
Finland             X                                                                Slovenia       X       X
France              X           X          X                                         South Korea                             X
Germany             X           X                                                    Spain          X       X       X
Greece              X           X          X                                         Sweden         X
Guatemala                                                         X                  Switzerland            X
Honduras                                                          X                  Taiwan                         X
Hungary             X           X                     X                              Thailand                       X        X
India                                                 X                              Tunisia                        X
Indonesia                                  X                                         Turkey                         X        X
Ireland             X           X                     X                              UAE                            X
Italy               X                      X                                         UK             X       X                X       X
Japan                                      X          X           X                  US                     X                X       X




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                            17
     encourage people to drive to do their shopping,                     “… our critics are correct in some of their observa-
     excessive amounts of packaging, and the destruc-                    tions. Specifically, our coverage is expensive for
     tion of local economies. Friends of the Earth cites                 low-income families, and Walmart has a significant
     research showing that supermarkets emit three                       percentage of associates and their children on
     times more carbon dioxide per square metre than                     public assistance.” 46
     local greengrocers, and that up to half of all raw
     vegetables and salad sold in supermarkets (meas-               5. Animal rights organisations point to the price
     ured by weight) is rejected for reasons including                 wars on products such as chicken, which they say
     their appearance before reaching the supermarket                  have a negative impact on animal welfare.
     shelves.40 In 2003, Tesco admitted selling furniture
     made from illegally sourced hardwood.41 Between                6. Community groups frequently fight the arrival of
     1999 and 2001, the distance travelled by an aver-                 new supermarkets in their local area. The opening
     age US household in search of its shopping grew                   of a supermarket in Britain leads to an average of
     by 40%, as a result of the growth of large super-                 276 job losses and the closure of all village shops
     markets and hypermarkets.42                                       within a seven mile radius, according to research
                                                                       cited by Friends of the Earth.47 In the UK, over a
3. Farmers’ representatives say the cost-cutting                       hundred local campaigns have been established
   practices of giant retailers damage their livelihoods               to fight planning applications by one giant retailer,
   and in some cases put them out of business.                         Tesco, alone.
   Recent examples of farmers speaking out include
   a dairy farmer talking to Friends of the Earth, who
   said,                                                            Conclusion: Growth at any cost
     “The only way we can make the farm pay is not to               The extraordinary growth of giant retailers includes an
     have any paid full-time farm worker and work twice             expansion into new sectors, new retail formats, and
     as hard ourselves from 5:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and              new parts of the world. In many ways, that expansion
     we still only make a poor living compared with                 is just beginning. With each new expansion comes a
     other people.” 43                                              new charm offensive from the Giants whose mission,
                                                                    they say, is to help consumers by bringing quality,
     A vegetable farmer speaking to The Grocer maga-                choice and value.
     zine in November 2008 concurred.
                                                                    But that apparently benign facade belies a ruthless
     “The retail prices are well up on last year, but none          strategy based on dominance: dominance of par-
     of that money has been passed to the grower and                ticular sectors, dominance of retail as a whole, and
     only some to the packers. Retailers are making a               dominance of suppliers. The collateral damage of this
     fortune while growers are crucified... People won’t            strategy, say the Giants’ critics, is the destruction of
     speak out about what’s happening because they’re               local communities, livelihoods and the environment,
     afraid their business will vanish.” 44                         and the exploitation of people throughout the supply
                                                                    chain. In this report, we are interested in one area of
4. Anti-poverty campaigners claim that giant retail-                this exploitation in particular: labour rights in garment
   ers are harming the poorest in society, who do not               supply chains. The next chapter gives more detail on
   have cars and therefore rely on local shops that are             the Giants’ history in this area.
   put out of business by competition from Giants.
   They also point out that supermarkets promote un-
   healthy, processed food, and can be more expen-
   sive for healthy food.45 Walmart has been criticised
   in the US for its expensive healthcare programme,
   which forces many of its retail workers to rely on
   public healthcare – a de facto public subsidy. More
   than half of Walmart employees rely on public
   health insurance, compared to an average for large
   corporations of one third. A leaked Walmart memo
   confirms this:




18                                                Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
19
…a stream of
allegations of poor
conditions that shows
no sign of any
significant
improvement
Chapter 3

Giant Retailers and
Labour Rights

With the giant retailers’ awesome size comes tremendous responsibility.
Walmart employs more than two million people in its retail and distribution
operations alone,48 and many millions more people grow and manufacture the
products that it sells.




All five of the Giants have signed up to initiatives of
one kind or another that say they aim to help member                                All the Giants have
companies to protect the rights of workers in their
supply chains. These rights include decent wages for
all workers, absence of discrimination, and workers’
                                                                                    put their names
right to form and join trade unions of their own
choosing.                                                                           to a code of some
And the Giants make grandiose claims about the
depth and breadth of their ethical trading programmes.
                                                                                    kind.
“The Walmart Ethical Standards program is in place to
do what is right for factory workers and the environ-
ment”,                                                                              to make a public statement of the rights those workers
Rajan Kamalanathan, the company’s Vice President for ethical standards 49           can expect. This is often called a code of conduct or
                                                                                    suppliers’ charter. The Giants are no exception, and all
Carrefour’s 2007 Sustainability Report tells us that,                               have put their names to a code of some kind, as well
                                                                                    as joining various initiatives.
“Each day, the Carrefour Group puts its skills, energy
and resources to work to ensure that it remains a                                   The best and most effective way for companies to
high-performing, socially responsible and sustainable                               address the problems in their supply chains voluntar-
company.” 50                                                                        ily is through a multi-stakeholder initiative (MSI) – an
                                                                                    alliance of companies, trade unions and NGOs that
This chapter discusses what is meant by these claims,                               work on labour rights issues. True MSIs must involve
what these initiatives involve, and what is known                                   all three groups in their governance, not just in an
about the Giants’ attitude to labour rights in their sup-                           ‘advisory’ capacity.
ply chains.
                                                                                    Over the past few years, several MSIs representing
                                                                                    over a hundred brands and retailers in Europe and
What the Giants say they are                                                        the US have worked together to agree upon a com-
doing                                                                               mon set of standards that a code of conduct should
                                                                                    contain. These are set out in the Draft Code of the
                                                                                    Joint Initiative on Corporate Accountability and Work-
It is commonly accepted that the first thing a company                              ers’ Rights (the Jo-In Code).51 You can see a detailed
needs to do, if it wants to trade ethically and ensure                              comparison of the different codes mentioned in this
that the rights of workers at its suppliers are upheld, is                          section in the Annex.




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                                                          21
Asda (Walmart’s UK subsidiary, whose clothes are                    1. They do not restrict deductions from wages.
branded George) and Tesco are members of the Ethi-
cal Trading Initiative (ETI), a British multi-stakeholder           2. They do not require a positive attitude from man-
initiative. Membership of the ETI places obligations on                agement towards trade unions.
companies to report each year and to ‘work towards’
the implementation of its code of conduct, which                    3. Carrefour’s code does not set a maximum number
closely matches the respected Jo-In Code. It estab-                    of working hours, while Walmart’s states 72 hours,
lishes working groups and pilot projects to address                    none of which is indicated to be optional overtime:
complex issues. Most major British garment retailers                   the norm agreed by Jo-In participants is a 48 hour
are members.                                                           basic week, plus 12 hours of optional overtime.

The ETI is not a panacea, however, as its recent                    4. Walmart’s code does not refer to living wages
impact assessment shows. Although there had been                       at all.
some improvement on issues such as health and safe-
ty, and enforcement of minimum (not living) wages,                  Tesco, Walmart and Carrefour are also founder mem-
researchers said that “serious issues remained” with                bers of the Global Social Compliance Programme
regard to freedom of association, discrimination, regu-             (GSCP), “a business-driven programme for companies
lar employment, and harsh treatment, and that “down-                who want to harmonise their existing efforts in order to
ward pressure on prices and lead times appeared to                  deliver a shared, consistent and global approach for
be having a negative impact [on working conditions]:                the continuous improvement of working conditions in
in all countries and sectors suppliers reported that this           global supply chains.” 55 It is not a multi-stakeholder
limited their ability to make improvements in labour                initiative, because trade unions and NGOs are reduced
practices.” 52                                                      to an advisory capacity.

Carrefour is a supporting member of Social Account-                 The Clean Clothes Campaign argued, when invited to
ability International (SAI), a US-based MSI. This level             join the GSCP’s advisory board, that it is unclear what
of membership places no obligations on companies                    the GSCP adds to existing multi-stakeholder initiatives
at all, and requires no commitment to SAI’s code of                 (of which several of GSCP’s founders are also mem-
conduct. The SAI website states only that “Companies                bers). The Jo-In project (see above) achieved the aim
participating at the Supporting Level show they have                of harmonising standards across MSIs, and numerous
an interest in learning about social compliance and                 MSIs already exist to share approaches to improving
building ethical supply chains.” 53                                 working conditions.

Instead, Carrefour and Walmart have developed their                 Tesco is also founder member of the Supplier Ethical
own codes of conduct, which are published online.54                 Data Exchange (SEDEX), “a membership organisation
These codes have big omissions. For example:                        for businesses committed to continuous improvement
                                                                    of the ethical performance of their supply chains.”




   Understanding the Acronyms
  Multi-stakeholder initiatives (MSIs) bring together               Business-led initiatives say that they bring
  companies, trade unions and labour rights organi-                 together businesses to work collaboratively to ad-
  sations to work collaboratively and on an equal                   dress labour rights issues. Trade union and labour
  footing to address ethical trading issues. They                   rights group participation, if it exists at all, is only in
  include:                                                          an advisory capacity. They include:

  •	 Ethical	Trading	Initiative	(ETI)                               •	 Business	Social	Compliance	Initiative	(BSCI)
  •	 Social	Accountability	International	(SAI)	                     •	 Global	Social	Compliance	Programme	(GSCP)
                                                                    •	 Worldwide	Responsible	Apparel	Production	
  Joint Initiative on Corporate Accountability                         (WRAP)
  and Workers’ Rights (Jo-In) brought together a                    •	 Supplier	Ethical	Data	Exchange	(SEDEX)
  number of MSIs.




22                                                Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
Selected reports of labour rights violations in
the giant retailers’ supply chains
2008                            2007                              2006                             2005                          2004


The German Clean                In China and Indonesia,           The report Fashion               Walmart is sued by            The Los Angeles Times
Clothes Campaign                the Südwind Institute             Victims, published               labour rights advo-           publishes a series about
publishes a study of six        investigates factories            by the British charity           cates acting on behalf        Walmart’s global search
factories in Bangladesh         producing for Aldi,               War on Want, exposes             of workers in China,          for low prices, ‘The Wal-
supplying Lidl.59               reporting that                    working conditions in            Indonesia, Bangla-            mart Effect’.66 It spoke to
                                                                  six factories producing          desh, Nicaragua and           a Bangladeshi garment
It finds evidence of com-       “Workers sneak out of             for Walmart’s George             Swaziland. The law suit       worker.
pulsory, unpaid overtime        their factory dormito-            label – four of them also        argues that these work-
as well as discrimination       ries at night, afraid that        produced for Tesco.              ers had experienced           “For about US$ 21
against women.                  management will refuse            It finds working weeks           forced overtime, poverty      [€ 18.25] a month, nearly
                                to grant them permis-             as long as 80 hours and          wages, and lack of trade      three times what a maid
                                sion to quit. They are not        wages as low as                  union rights in direct vio-   or cook would make,
                                paid for weeks on end.            € 0.07 per hour. 62              lation of Walmart’s own       the 22-year-old worked
                                Schools make money                                                 code of conduct.63            in a Dhaka factory, per-
                                from the factories for                                                                           forming final checks on
                                recruiting underage                                                Spectrum Shariyar, a          men’s shirts and trou-
                                workers.” 60                                                       factory in Bangladesh         sers. Employees, she
                                                                                                   supplying a number of         said, often worked from
                                Meanwhile the Chinese                                              clothing brands, collaps-     8 a.m. to 3 a.m. for 10
                                group Students and                                                 es, killing 64 people and     to 15 days at a stretch
                                Scholars against Corpo-                                            injuring 80. Unlike other     to fill big orders from
                                rate Misbehaviour gives                                            brands sourcing from          Walmart. Exhausted,
                                a detailed account of                                              that factory and who          she quit after a year and
                                working conditions in                                              also took benefit from        took a lower-paying but
                                factories producing toys                                           the very low prices in        less gruelling job. ”
                                for Walmart, including                                             Bangladesh, Carrefour
                                wage and hour viola-                                               refuses to contribute to
                                tions, unsafe working                                              the relief fund for victims
                                conditions, unsanitary                                             of the collapse and their
                                worker housing, harsh                                              relatives, saying that it
                                punishments and heavy                                              is not the responsibility
                                fines, deprivation of la-                                          of a private company to
                                bour contract protection,                                          substitute for the lack of
                                non-provision of social                                            social insurance in this
                                security, illegal firings,                                         country, and provides
                                and suppression by fac-                                            only in-kind support.64
                                tory management.61
                                                                                                   Meanwhile, as part of a
                                                                                                   Clean Clothes Campaign
                                                                                                   investigation of social
                                                                                                   auditing in factories, a
                                                                                                   worker in an Indian fac-
                                                                                                   tory supplying Walmart
                                                                                                   tells researchers,

                                                                                                   “We (workers) have to
                                                                                                   work seven days in a
                                                                                                   week... We always had
                                                                                                   complaints about low
                                                                                                   wages and working
                                                                                                   hours but we could not
                                                                                                   express it.” 65




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                                        23
56 SEDEX’s main tool is an online database to store                 A history of exploitation and
details of factories and their audit results. The aim is to         union busting
reduce the number of times suppliers are audited by
sharing the results of audits. This is an admirable aim
as far as it goes, but of course SEDEX is only as good              As we’ve seen, the giant retailers exert a lot of time,
as the data it contains and, as we will see, this means             money and effort on their ethical trading programmes
it is missing a lot.                                                and their participation in collaborative initiatives. Their
                                                                    public commitments suggest that they have set high
Lidl and Aldi themselves make no code of conduct                    standards for their suppliers, and are working really
public, but they are members of the Business Social                 hard to implement them. So have they succeeded?
Compliance Initiative (BSCI), “the broadest business-
driven platform for the improvement of social compli-               As the Box shows, poor labour conditions in the
ance in the supply chain of commerce.” 57 Its stated                Giants’ supply chains have been exposed for many
aim is to create a common social auditing process                   years, a repeated stream of allegations of poor condi-
for its members to use. BSCI has been criticised for a              tions that shows no sign of any significant improve-
number of reasons:                                                  ments.

1. Problems with its code: for example, it places no                And what about closer to home, in the parts of the
   obligation on suppliers to adopt a positive attitude             supply chain that are under the Giants’ direct control?
   to trade unions and, beyond the legal minimum                    The codes of conduct and initiatives discussed above
   wage, suppliers are merely “encouraged to provide                are only applied to workers at one end of the supply
   their employees with adequate compensation.” 58                  chain, not to those in retail and distribution. In fact,
                                                                    the Giants’ actions closer to home sometimes violate
2. Its code is not binding on members, but merely                   their own standards, particularly those on freedom of
   treated as aspirational.                                         association.

3. BSCI’s whole methodology is focused on social                    Although Tesco’s stores in the home country UK are
   auditing (problems related to this are discussed in              organised, in its international operations it has been
   Chapter 7).                                                      accused of taking an anti-union attitude. Global retail
                                                                    trade union federation UNI states that:
4. There is no complaints system for workers – only
   factory auditing.                                                Both Turkey and Thailand have experienced a local
                                                                    management approach which has not seemed to be
5. Stakeholders like trade unions and labour rights                 in line with Tesco’s progressive employer ethics. In
   NGOs are reduced to merely an advisory capacity.                 Korea, the joint Tesco-Samsung venture has been
                                                                    considered as very strongly anti-union.67

                                                                    In May 2006, the Financial Times reported that:

                                                                    Tesco, the world’s third largest grocer, has listed
                                                                    “maintaining union-free status” and “union avoidance
                                                                    activities” among the responsibilities of senior manag-

The Giants’ actions                                                 ers of its planned new network of stores on the US
                                                                    west coast.68


closer to home                                                      The United Food and Commercial Workers union
                                                                    (UFCW), which represents retail workers in the United

sometimes violate                                                   States, says that Tesco has refused to talk to the un-
                                                                    ion since launching its venture in the US:


their own stand-                                                    Over the past two years they have consistently played
                                                                    delaying tactics, rebuffing us and finally absolutely re-

ards, particularly                                                  fusing to even meet with us. It is an incredibly reason-
                                                                    able request, just to begin a discussion.69


those on freedom                                                    The German union ver.di has published two ‘black
                                                                    books’ on working conditions in Lidl stores in Ger-

of association.                                                     many and throughout Europe. It sets out Lidl man-
                                                                    agement’s efforts to prevent the establishment of a




24                                                Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
regional Works Council in the German city of Unna.
Workers were pressurised, intimidated, and prevented
                                                                                    “While unions may
from participating in election meetings. Similar tactics
were reported elsewhere in Germany, and in two cas-                                 be appropriate for
es – the towns of Calw and Forchheim – stores have
been effectively closed down following the establish-
ment of a Works Council.70
                                                                                    some companies,
Ver.di quotes a Polish shop assistant describing the                                they have no place
tone of supervisors against staff as “offending and vul-
gar”, and Swedish employees talking about “psychic
terror” at the workplace. In France, Lidl has faced the
                                                                                    at Walmart.”
longest strike in retail history after the unfair dismissal
of ‘inconvenient’ employees.71                                                      - Walmart spokesperson

Aldi management has been accused of a number of
anti-union activities, including the sacking of six Irish
workers for joining a trade union in 2000, and pre-
venting trade union organisers from entering stores in
Australia.72

Walmart’s anti-union policy in its retail operations
is notorious. One Walmart spokesperson has said,
“While unions may be appropriate for some compa-                                    in Washington a pay rise of 10% if they would give up
nies, they have no place at Walmart.” 73 The US organi-                             their membership”, said the General Secretary of the
sation Human Rights Watch (HRW) has described it                                    GMB union.78
as “a giant company that will do just about anything
to keep unions out.” 74 Managers are given explicit                                 What is more, a ruling in the US state of Minnesota
instructions on how to prevent workers organising,                                  in July 2008 could cost Walmart € 1.5 billion after it
written down in its Managers’ Toolbox, described as a                               broke the law on rest breaks and wages more than
guide to “how to remain union free in the event union                               two million times.79 The judge wrote that one woman
organizers choose your facility as their next target.” 75                           “had to beg to use the restroom during one of her
                                                                                    menstrual cycles.” The lead plaintiff in the case, Nancy
According to HRW, a worker and manager training                                     Braun, said that
programme is used to indoctrinate workers with “the
company’s aggressive anti-union stance.” If union or-                               “There was just too much work to do and never
ganising activity is detected at a store, managers must                             enough time to do it. There just wasn’t enough time in
call a hotline, through which they are given guidance                               the day to take the breaks we were entitled to.”
on anti-union tactics, and members of Walmart’s La-
bour Relations Team are dispatched within days.76 The                               A group of women are currently pursuing a sex dis-
resultant union-busting operation is designed to scare                              crimination class action against Walmart in the US.80
workers into giving up on organising, as a worker at a
store in South Carolina at which a unionisation drive                               Although Carrefour has signed a global framework
was quashed in 2001 set out:                                                        agreement – setting out the ways it promises to co-
                                                                                    operate – with the global retail union federation UNI,
“I think the union failed because a lot of them were                                similar examples to those at Walmart are not in short
scared to come forward, scared for their jobs. That’s                               supply. Carrefour was fined € 1.3 million in October
exactly the reason I didn’t sign up…. I never went                                  2008 for breaches of the law in France that led to
to any union meetings. I was scared to. … Some of                                   workers earning less than the minimum wage.81 While
the girls, other associates, would say that if Walmart                              Carrefour’s workers in much of Europe are part of an
would get wind of [my involvement with] the union, I’d                              active social dialogue – for example, over 80% of its
be fired.”                                                                          retail workers in Belgium are trade union members –
                                                                                    this is not the case in other countries where Carrefour
Walmart has twice – in 2008 and 2005 - closed outlets                               has stores. Even in Belgium, trade unions accused
in Quebec, Canada, after state arbitrators backed                                   Carrefour of “intimidation” and “repression” when it
successful unionisation drives by imposing collective                               became embroiled in strike action in late 2008 over
bargaining agreements.77 Its UK subsidiary Asda was                                 plans to open a new hypermarket in Bruges with lower
fined € 1.25 billion in 2006 for discriminating against                             wages and poorer working conditions than at its other
trade union members, after it “offered GMB members                                  stores.82




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                        25
Conclusion: Reality falls far short
of the rhetoric

As this chapter has shown, there are two sides to the
giant retailers. On one hand, they have signed up to a
variety of initiatives that suggest they are working to
deal with problems like poor wages, poor conditions,
and anti-union activities at their suppliers. Yet, on
the other, they have been criticised for poor working
conditions in exactly these same areas throughout
their supply chains, in manufacturing, distribution, and
retail.

In manufacturing, the Giants’ control over working
conditions is indirect, as they rarely own the factories
in which their products are made. In these situa-
tions, the problem can be characterised as a failure
to enforce standards at third party facilities: hence
the term “compliance” is often used to refer to the
department in the company charged with supply chain
labour rights. Yet the evidence from retail and distribu-
tion, where the Giants are in direct control of working
conditions, suggests that they are frequently guilty of
committing exactly the same violations that they say
they do not tolerate from suppliers.

The next five chapters examine the working conditions
at giant retailers’ suppliers. Chapters 4 to 6 cover
three areas that should be the test of any retailer’s
commitment to decent working conditions: the wages
that workers earn and the hours that they must work
to earn them; the extent to which workers have the
genuine freedom to form and join trade unions of
their own choosing; and the use of precarious forms
of work such as fixed-term contracts to further erode
workers’ rights. In Chapter 7, we present evidence
that giant retailers’ purchasing practices reinforce
these abuses of workers’ rights. In Chapter 8, we
conclude by highlighting the differential impact on one
particular set of workers: women.




26                                               Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
About our research countries

The Clean Clothes Campaign’s partner network                  due not in small part to its ability to produce at very
includes over 250 organisations whose day-to-day              low prices. Our Bangladesh research was conducted
work brings them into contact with garment work-              in and around the capital city of Dhaka.
ers struggling to defend their rights in every country
in which garments are produced. For this booklet,             Garment manufacturing is India’s largest source of net
research was conducted by some of CCC’s partners              foreign exchange earnings, generating € 6.2 billion in
in four countries: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and           2005-6.85 It has been estimated that India has approxi-
Thailand. Table 3 shows the value of their exports to         mately 30,000 ready-made garment manufacturing
the European Union.                                           units and around three million people are working in
                                                              the industry.86 Our research in India was conducted in
Bangladesh                                                    three of its major garment-producing hubs: Tirupur,
Garment manufacture provides Bangladesh’s main                Bangalore and Delhi.
source of foreign exchange earnings, a total of € 6.8
billion in 2008 (US$10.7 billion in 2008) (See Table          Sri Lanka
5).There were fears that Bangladesh’s industry would          Sri Lanka’s garments industry is a major part of the
suffer following the liberalisation of the global garment     economy, representing 43% of total exports and 39%
industry at the start of 2005. In fact, its industry has      of its industrial production. The garment sector is the
enjoyed a steady growth, as demonstrated in Table 4,          largest employer in the manufacturing sector, account-
                                                              ing for three-quarters of Sri Lanka’s employment,
                                                              either directly or indirectly.87 In 2006, the sector’s
Table 4: Value of research countries’ clothing                exports amounted to € 2.5 billion and contributed 5%
exports to the EU 83                                          to Sri Lanka’s GDP.88

                                                              Thailand
                             Clothing exports to EU 2007,
 Country
                             (€ millions)                     The textile and garment industry accounts for as much
                                                              as one sixth of Thailand’s GDP. Some 4,500 factories
 Bangladesh                  4 375                            employ more than one million people – roughly one
 India                       3 837                            fifth of total employment in manufacturing.89 With an-
                                                              nual exports of around € 3.5 billion in 2007,90 textiles
 Sri Lanka                   1 040
                                                              and garments rank as the nation’s second biggest
 Thailand                    1 795                            export industry.
 Global Total                57 940




Table 5: Growth of Bangladesh’s ready-made garments industry


 Year                          Ready-made garments          Employment in                 Number of factories registered
                               Exports in US$ millions      million workers               with the BGMEA84

 2000-2001                     4859.83                      1.8                           3496

 2001-2002                     4583.75                      1.8                           3618

 2002-2003                     4912.09                      2.0                           3760

 2003-2004                     5686.09                      2.0                           3957

 2004-2005                     6417.67                      2.1                           4107

 2005-2006                     7900.80                      2.2                           4250

 2006-2007                     9211.23                      2.4                           4490

 2007-2008                     10699.8                      2.5                           4740




                                                                                                                      27
“At times it gets
unbearable and I cry.”
- Worker at Bangladeshi factory supplying
  Lidl, Walmart, and Carrefour
Chapter 4

Wages & Working Hours

Wages in developing countries are naturally much lower in absolute terms than
those in the West – this is to be expected when the cost of living is so much
lower. But they are also low in terms of what is needed to meet a basic standard
of living in those countries.




A living wage is one that enables workers and their                                 Bangalore starts at 2418 rupees (€ 42) per month, and
dependents to meet their needs for nutritious food and                              our research indicated that many workers earn just
clean water, shelter, clothes, education, health care,                              this amount.
and transport, as well as allowing for a discretionary
income. Preferably, wages and working conditions                                    Similarly in Bangladesh, we found some workers on
should be determined through good faith negotiation                                 the minimum wage of 1662 taka (€ 16.60), and most
and collective bargaining between workers and em-                                   factories paying an average take-home wage (boosted
ployers within a mature system of industrial relations.                             by considerable amounts of overtime) in the region of
If this isn’t possible – and to check that the negotia-                             2,500-3,000 taka (€ 25-30). Living wage estimates for
tions have been fair – it is possible instead to calculate                          a Bangladeshi garment worker’s family at the time the
a value based on a set formula.91                                                   minimum wage was set, in 2006, were around 4,800
                                                                                    taka (€ 48).95
The living wage standard has been the subject of
much controversy since codes of conduct began to be                                 Low pay like this often means that garment workers
formulated. The code of conduct adopted by the UK’s                                 are keen to work overtime to help them bring in more
Ethical Trading Initiative – of which Tesco and Asda are                            money. Yet frequently this time is either not compen-
members – for example, states that:                                                 sated at a premium rate as it should be, or even not
                                                                                    paid at all. Workers often recount that fictitious pay
Wages and benefits paid for a standard working week                                 slips and time-sheets – which fail to show the full over-
meet, at a minimum, national legal standards or indus-                              time amounts – are used to steal overtime pay from
try benchmark standards, whichever is higher. In any                                them; and at many factories it is just a fact of life that
event wages should always be enough to meet basic                                   work continues into the evening every day to meet
needs and to provide some discretionary income.92                                   unrealistically high targets.



Far from a living wage                                                              Why the minimum wage is not
                                                                                    enough
For most garment-producing countries, the national
legal minimum or industry average wages are around a
half of a typical estimate of a living wage, and certainly                          When governments set minimum wages, they bal-
a long way from “enough to meet basic needs and to                                  ance the interests of poor workers with what they see
provide some discretionary income.” 93                                              as the need to remain competitive in a global market
                                                                                    dominated by multinational retailers and brands,
For example, in 2007, labour rights organisations in                                as well as the demands of their domestic garment
Bangalore, India, estimated that the bare minimum a                                 manufacturers. As a result, minimum wages often bear
garment worker’s family (average size: 4.4 members)                                 little relation to the cost of living, and fall far short of
needs is around 4364 rupees (€ 80) per month to                                     what garment workers say is a living wage. Minimum
live.94 Yet the minimum wage for garment workers in                                 wages often remain unchanged for years while the




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                                                            29
For most garment-producing countries,
the national legal minimum or industry
average wages are around half of a
typical estimate of a living wage.


cost of living rises, which means that the real value of           per month (although the figure is lower for unskilled
the workers’ pay falls. This creates a particularly acute          workers).102 Sri Lanka’s Apparel Industry Labour
problem in the recent context of double-digit inflation            Rights Movement (ALaRM) estimates that workers in
in garment-producing countries.                                    free trade zones need twice this amount for a living
                                                                   wage,103 a figure that Sri Lankan industry representa-
Bangladesh’s minimum wage stands at 1662 taka (€                   tives claim most workers do earn, when higher pay for
16.60). The Government of Bangladesh did not adjust                different skill levels and overtime earnings are taken
its minimum wage for 12 years until 2006, during                   into account. ALaRM disagrees, and our research also
which period the real value of wages halved. When the              indicates that most workers earn less than 10,000
minimum was finally raised, it was still well below its            rupees (€ 60).104
1994 value, in real terms. In summer 2008, in view of
price inflation, the Bangladeshi Government created                Are these wages actually paid? A survey by Bang-
a 20% Dearness Allowance for public sector workers:                ladesh’s Centre for Policy Dialogue back in 2003
the garment industry was asked to adopt a similar                  showed that:
standard voluntarily.96 At the same time, garment
workers’ organisations were demanding a minimum                    Only 43.9% of the employees held that they get
wage (not a living wage) of 4500 taka (€ 45).97                    minimum wage fixed by the Government. More than
                                                                   62.1% of the employees said that the companies have
In India, minimum wages vary by state. The basic                   practices of allowing employees more than eight hours
wage is topped up by a Variable Dearness Allowance                 or one shift per day. Around 40% of the employees
(VDA), which is set twice a year, based on the rate of             suggested that the payment for overtime is less than
inflation. In Delhi, the minimum wage for the ‘unskilled’          for regular time payment. More than 11% of the
garment workers’ professions is 140 rupees (€ 2.10)                employees get no extra payment for working beyond
per day at the time of writing, including 4.5 rupees               eight hours.105
VDA; in Bangalore, it is 93 rupees (€ 1.40), including
31 rupees VDA; and in Tirupur 83 rupees (€ 1.25), in-              In India, Thailand, and Sri Lanka, workers in registered
cluding 13 rupees VDA.98 An unskilled garment worker               factories are rarely paid below the minimum wage,
on the minimum wage in Bangalore working 26 days                   although it is much more common in unlicensed sub-
in a month would bring home 2418 rupees basic wage                 contractors. Unpaid and underpaid overtime remain
(€ 36), compared to the 4364 rupees (€ 65.50) ’bare                standard elements of most garment workers’ working
minimum’ calculated by labour rights groups there. 99              lives in all countries.

In Thailand, the minimum wage ranges from 203 baht
(€ 4) per day in Bangkok to 148 baht (€ 3) in some                 Wages and working hours in the
rural areas.100 In Chonburi province, where many of                Giants’ suppliers
Thailand’s garment Export Processing Zones are
found, the minimum wage is 180 (€ 3.60) baht per day,
equating to around 4500 baht (€ 90) per month. The                 1½ shift is normal working hours for us. But if the
Thai Labour Campaign calculated that it takes 77%                  buyer knows about it, they will stop giving orders to
of this wage just to pay for three meals a day for one             our company, which means we would be out of jobs.
person: in 2006 it estimated a living wage at around               It is a question of so many livelihoods. Just imagine
8,000 baht (€ 160).101                                             500 of us out of jobs just because we say that we are
                                                                   working overtime in our company.
Garment workers in skilled professions in Sri Lanka                Tailor, Walmart Factory, Tirupur 106
are entitled to a minimum wage of 6750 rupees (€ 40)




30                                               Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
Pay too low to live off                                                             We spoke to 25 workers at another factory supply-
                                                                                    ing Tesco, Carrefour and Walmart (including George),
The vast majority of workers in the 31 workplaces in                                aged between 17 and 35. All had been working in the
our research earns at least the legal minimum wage,                                 garment sector for three years or more. They took
and many earn more than it. This is consistent with the                             home an average of just Tk 2,500 (€ 25) for a 70 hour
way that the giant retailers put their codes of conduct                             week.110 The highest earning of the group, 35 year-old
into practice, focusing only on minimum wages. But                                  Amena, struggled to feed her family on just Tk 3,200
no workers earn anything like a living wage, despite                                (€ 32) per month. At the other end of the scale, 17
the more aspirational commitments in those codes of                                 year-old Roshia and Momena had left school at the
conduct. And many workers told us that they were in                                 age of 14 to work in garments. They live in a building
significant difficulty as a result.                                                 in which six sets of tenants share two gas burners and
                                                                                    one wash room – cooking and washing have to be
Basic wages (that is, excluding overtime) across the                                done in turns, and the water often runs out.
11 Bangladeshi factories ranged from 1,350 taka (€
13.50) to 2,400 taka (€ 24), both these levels being                                “With a heavy heart we live like prisoners”
found at Aldi suppliers.107 The Aldi supplier with the                              Woman worker in Bangladesh 111
lowest rate of pay was the only one at which basic
wages were below the legal minimum. But we found                                    In India, the reality for garment workers in the 15
factories supplying all four of the other Giants at which                           factories we visited was poverty too. Although wages
the lowest grade of workers earned a basic wage of                                  vary by state, on average an unskilled tailor would
exactly 1,662 taka (€ 17), the legal minimum.108                                    take home Rs 3,000 (€ 45) in a month (from a wage
                                                                                    of Rs 125 per day), rising to Rs 3,500 (€ 52.50) for a
Average take-home wages (once overtime is included)                                 skilled tailor. By way of comparison, in Bangalore, a
in our Bangladeshi sample ranged from Tk 2,061 (€                                   one room living space would cost Rs 1,000 to rent,
21) to Tk 3,447 (€ 34): a large range perhaps, but still                            with bills of Rs 5-600, and a family of four’s basic food
well below what workers say is a living wage for one                                expenses would come to Rs 3,000. Already, expenses
person alone, never mind for a family.                                              would be getting tight.

The Bangladeshi factory with the lowest average take-                               In Walmart factories, most workers are permanent,
home wage of Tk 2,061 - less than one euro per day                                  but there is no pay increase with experience, and
- was supplying Lidl and Walmart.109 Garment retailers                              older employees know that any demand for higher pay
often defend allegations of low wages by pointing out                               could result in them being ousted and replaced by a
that workers on the lowest wages will soon graduate                                 newer employee. As one worker sewing for Walmart
to a higher pay band. However, the workers we spoke                                 set out:
to in this factory had all been working in the industry
for five years or more, with no pay increase apart from                             Whether it is a tough style or a simple style, I can
the minimum wage increase during that time. They                                    manage it. When other people make mistakes that are
rarely worked overtime, which was the reason for their                              difficult to correct, they bring them to me. Yet still I
low monthly wage. Notably, this factory had a nearly                                am paid only Rs 3500 [Rs 125 per day]. They pay the
entirely female workforce.                                                          same amount to a newcomer as well. I get very angry
                                                                                    about this.112

                                                                                    Wages for an official 9 hour day for Tesco workers in
                                                                                    Bangalore averaged at Rs 115-125 (€ 1.73 to € 1.88)
                                                                                    on the checking lines, and Rs 105-135 (€ 1.58 to
                                                                                    € 2.03) for tailors of different skills. Helpers earned as
                                                                                    little as Rs 95 (€ 1.43) per day.113

Fake pay slips and                                                                  In the Sri Lankan factory supplying Tesco, Walmart
                                                                                    and Carrefour, wages for skilled workers started at Rs
timesheets are                                                                      6,000 (€ 36), below the legal minimum, and for helpers
                                                                                    they were at Rs 5,600 (€ 33.50).114 Most workers in all

sometimes used to                                                                   three factories visited took home between Rs 6,000
                                                                                    (€ 36) and Rs 10,000 (€ 60), with almost none earning
                                                                                    a living wage of Rs 13,000 (€ 78), and several earn-
steal overtime pay                                                                  ing below Rs 6,000 (€ 36). A woman working at this
                                                                                    factory, who takes home Rs 9,200 (€ 55) after seven

from workers.                                                                       years of service, told us about her lifestyle:115




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                            31
“We must do                                                        The combination of long hours and intense pressure
                                                                   to meet targets creates a particular kind of hell for

overtime. If not, the                                              workers. At the first factory mentioned above – with a
                                                                   comparatively easy time of 60 hours per week – Salma
                                                                   tells us that, “Coming home I feel so drained that I
gate is open for us                                                do not even feel like eating.” Kusum adds “At times it
                                                                   gets unbearable and I cry. After a while I have to put

to quit our job.”                                                  myself together because there is no other way, I must
                                                                   keep working.”117

                                                                   Although take-home pay was higher as a result, in
- Worker at Indian factory supplying Tesco                         both factories workers were robbed of a large amount
                                                                   of overtime payment. They said that they were given a
                                                                   daily quota that could not be completed within normal
                                                                   hours, and were not paid for the hours they stayed
                                                                   behind to finish it. They also reported routinely being
                                                                   robbed of payment for overtime work that was addi-
                                                                   tional to their daily quota, 10-25 hours a month in one
“I had to stay in a boarding house where 10 other                  factory, and up to 50 in the other.118
girls were living... We have to sleep in crowded rooms
made out of wooden planks for walls. The rooms do                  Most workers that we spoke to did take home some
not get enough ventilation. And there is no escape                 overtime pay, but in order to earn it many of them
from mosquitoes... I use the meagre salary I receive               worked well in excess of the commonly accepted
very frugally as I have to pay for the boarding house              60-hour maximum. A significant number even ex-
and spend for food while sending some money home                   ceeded Walmart’s 72-hour maximum. Of ten factories
for sisters’ studies.”                                             In Bangladesh, no factory had a regular working week
                                                                   of less than 60 hours; more than half exceeded this,
“The owners of these companies derive profits be-                  and in four the average week was over 80 hours. The
cause of our poverty. They try to keep the production              hard work needed to earn such tiny amounts led one
at the highest level while getting our labour by paying            disconsolate worker at a Walmart and Carrefour sup-
us a meagre salary...There is nothing to do about it.              plier to say:
We have to console ourselves by saying this is our
fate. If we did not have at least this job, there would            “I feel so sick and tired after a day’s work that I do not
be no way to survive.”                                             want to work the next day. But hunger does not allow
                                                                   thinking of sickness. The thought of living with an
Overtime: unpaid and compulsory                                    empty stomach makes everything else forgotten. We
                                                                   work to save ourselves from hunger.” 119
The impact of low pay can be mitigated to some
extent by overtime work, which – if paid at double                 In common with Bangladesh, Indian workers told us
the normal hourly rate and capped at the commonly                  that overtime was compulsory, not optional.
accepted maximum of 12 hours per week – can add
50% again to a garment worker’s salary.                            “No, it is not our choice. We must do overtime. If not,
                                                                   the gate is open for us to quit our job.”
Yet in the majority of workplaces that we surveyed, a              Contract worker producing for Tesco in Delhi   120



significant proportion of the overtime is unpaid. This is
often because employers set impossible daily targets,              A tailor in Tirupur concurred that, “during [peak] sea-
requiring workers to stay at work, unpaid, until they              son, overtime is compulsory.”121
have met them. In addition, it also comes through
incorrect, doctored or ignored time-sheets: the same               At Indian factories supplying Carrefour, overtime work,
time-sheets that auditors examine.                                 announced at the last minute and always compulsory,
                                                                   is common during peak seasons, particularly Novem-
At two typical Bangladeshi factories supplying Lidl,               ber to December. Workers are not allowed to refuse
Walmart, and Carrefour, take-home pay averaged                     overtime.
3,270 and 3,447 taka (€ 33 and € 34).116 In order to
achieve this higher pay, the working week at one fac-              “If they ask us to do overtime, we just have to do it.
tory was 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., six days a week - about 60              There is no refusal at all if you need your job”, said a
working hours. At the other, workers were expected                 checker in Tirupur.122
to stay until 10 p.m., seven days a week – a working
week exceeding 90 hours.




32                                               Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
A contract worker in Delhi concurred:                                               three Sri Lankan factories in our study, workers said
                                                                                    that overtime was compulsory. One woman at the
“We have to work from 9 in the morning till 1 in the                                same factory supplying Tesco made it quite clear that
night. We can’t choose to work only during day or                                   overtime was not optional:
night. This is full-day work. We have to work thirty
days in a month like this.”123                                                      “[My husband] does not like my coming home late.
                                                                                    Nevertheless we cannot refuse to work overtime and
A packing supervisor at a Walmart supplier told us,                                 expect to go to work again. We have to work in order
“We work till late night especially during shipment                                 to cover the targets.”131
days. Our official working hours are from 9 a.m. to
5:30 p.m. We, packing supervisors, work till 10 p.m. or
in some days it goes beyond midnight 12 o’clock to 2                                Conclusion: Basic needs are not
a.m.” 124                                                                           met
Tesco’s Indian factories are established factories with
good reputations, meaning that officially they meet                                 Garment workers in the Giants’ supply chains are
the requirements of Tesco’s code of conduct. Tesco                                  robbed three times over. First, low hourly wages mean
suppliers in Delhi, Bangalore and Tirupur all have of-                              that they are deprived of the right to earn a living
ficial working hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. However,                             wage, no matter how hard they work. Nowhere do
in reality they work overtime almost every day.125 To                               workers earn a wage that meets their basic needs.
remain compliant with Tesco’s code of conduct, these
hours are not recorded on workers’ time-sheets or                                   Second, their free time is stolen by managers who
pay slips, despite these factories’ investment in such                              force them to stay late. The 48-hour basic working
systems to please Tesco. Workers in Tirupur and Ban-                                week is a meaningless concept when overtime is com-
galore explain how this works:                                                      pulsory and a daily occurrence, and even the 60-hour
                                                                                    with-overtime maximum is frequently ignored.
“Our work starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 5:30 p.m.
officially. But if there is overtime, we stay back and                              Third, and most outrageously given their difficulty in
work till night.”126                                                                making ends meet, these women and men are not
                                                                                    even paid for the extra hours that they do. The notion
“We do a lot of overtime. Almost every day, there is                                that overtime should be compensated at a premium
at least one hour extra. We are called on Sundays as                                rate is a long way off when in most cases it is not
well. However, our monthly wage slip will not show all                              compensated at all.
the overtime that we do. It will quote only 1-2 hours as
overtime in a month.”127                                                            This is, of course, a systemic problem. Low remunera-
                                                                                    tion is a result of low legal minimum and prevailing
Of course, this trickery is not only aimed at hood-                                 industry wages, and long hours are part of the culture
winking the social auditors, but also at reducing the                               of the garment industry. Governments and suppliers
amounts paid to workers:                                                            must accept their responsibility for creating this envi-
                                                                                    ronment. But it is the Giants who exploit it, and whose
“[W]e are not paid for all the overtime work that we do.                            codes of conduct make statements so far removed
Even on Sundays we punch our cards, but time is not                                 from the reality of workers’ lives as to be irrelevant.
getting recorded. Managers say that they will adjust by
giving us extra leave. But it never happens. At times,
they give one or two leaves, but it never compensates
for all the overtime work that we do.”128

In factories where overtime is paid, it is not compen-
sated at a higher rate than regular pay:

“Why would they ever pay double wages to us? They
have fixed an amount for us for each shift, whether
it is overtime or night shift. Whichever time we work
hardly matters. We will be paid the amount fixed for
each shift.”129

Excessive overtime is not limited to India. Workers in a
Sri Lankan factory supplying Tesco said they worked
an average of more than 64 hours per week.130 In all




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                         33
“If you form a
union, you will
be out.”
- Worker at Indian supplier of Tesco
Chapter 5

Freedom of Association
While the giant retailers have signed on to codes of conduct that commit
them to trade union rights, in reality workers in their supply chains experience
repression if they try to exercise these rights.




Trade union rights serve as both end and means: they
are in themselves fundamental human rights, but they                                “ Management
are also enabling rights, providing a means for workers
to secure better working conditions across the board.
Trade unions allow workers to speak out when their
                                                                                    knows that I am a
rights are violated, to act collectively rather than be
divided and ruled by managers, to monitor and report                                union member.
on their own working conditions, and to negotiate
changes in those conditions where necessary.                                        So, I am always the
There are two key trade union rights: the right to free-
dom of association, that is, to form and join a trade                               target.”
union of one’s own choosing; and the right to collec-
tive bargaining, meaning to have that union negotiate                               - Worker at Indian supplier of Walmart
the terms and conditions of your employment on your
behalf.

A glance at the codes of conduct to which the gi-
ant retailers have signed up shows that they have,
in principle, agreed to uphold those rights, and to
ensure that there is no discrimination against trade                                in law, the most basic obstacle faced by workers is
union members. Tesco and Walmart’s Asda George                                      awareness: many are not aware of the notion of trade
are further committed to ensuring that suppliers adopt                              unions, or more importantly that they have a legal right
an ‘open attitude’ to trade unions. Yet these commit-                               to form or join one of their own choosing, and are pro-
ments fly in the face of the reality for most workers.                              tected in law from discrimination where they do.

                                                                                    Garment workplaces the world over are environments
The dangers of speaking out                                                         in which stepping out of line in any way is anathema.
                                                                                    Few workers dare ask for a day of leave or complain
It is a part of the history of the trade union movement                             about their pay, and so the risky idea of openly taking
that attempts by workers to fulfil these rights are met                             part in trade union activities is quite out of the ques-
with harassment, persecution, lay-offs, and even                                    tion. Workers generally say that if factory management
violence by employers. The International Trade Union                                found out that they had joined a union, they would be
Confederation (ITUC) estimates that 144 trade union                                 immediately fired. Some factory managers go as far
activists were killed as a result of their trade union                              as to say this, while others communicate it by rumour
activities in 2007, with 5,000 arrested for participating                           and example.
in strikes or protests, and over 8,000 dismissals.132
                                                                                    When workers do stick their necks out and try to
Garment workers face a number of obstacles to                                       organise, they often face ferocious opposition from
organising themselves, beginning with the law,                                      factory managers. Organisers may be transferred to
discussed below. Where trade union rights do exist                                  another site operated by the same owner,




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                                                         35
Most workers that                                                  or circumvent it by transferring workers to other loca-
                                                                   tions to disrupt union activities or discourage union

we spoke to were                                                   formation. Seeking justice through the judicial process
                                                                   is time consuming and costly. Unions report that some
                                                                   employers resort to intimidation, threats, demotion,
unaware of their                                                   beatings and, in extreme cases, death threats or even
                                                                   attempted murder against trade unionists. A more

right to join a trade                                              popular form of harassment, however, is the filing of
                                                                   false criminal charges.”135


union.                                                             And in Thailand:

                                                                   “Employers frequently dismiss workers trying to form
                                                                   trade unions. In some cases, they are fired while
                                                                   awaiting registration of the union (and therefore not yet
                                                                   covered by the laws protecting them from anti-union
persecuted within the factory, fired, beaten, or ar-               discrimination). In other situations, they are dismissed
rested on trumped-up charges. We found examples of                 for ostensibly non-union reasons invented by the
all of these in the Giants’ supply chains.                         employer. Penalties for wrongful dismissal are too low
                                                                   to be dissuasive.”136
Factory managers may tolerate the presence of unions
once they have formed, but true collective bargaining              Meanwhile in Bangladesh:
– negotiating pay and conditions in an environment of
mature industrial relations – is rarely seen in the gar-           trade unions are significantly restricted, despite the
ment industry.                                                     provision for the formation of trade unions in the coun-
                                                                   try’s Constitution. Bangladesh has been under a state
                                                                   of emergency since January 2007, with all trade union
Reality check: Trade union rights                                  activity banned.
in law
                                                                   Under normal law in Bangladesh, unions can be
                                                                   dissolved if membership at an enterprise falls below
Each year the ITUC publishes a survey of trade union               30%. The right to strike is not specifically recognised
rights violations by country.133 This section is based on          in law, and unions must attain the agreement of
the outcomes of the 2007 edition of the survey.                    three-quarters of their members before they can go
                                                                   on strike. In new factories owned by foreign investors
The laws on trade unions in India, Thailand, and Sri               or established as joint-ventures in collaboration with
Lanka provide for the exercising of full trade union               foreign investors, strikes are not permitted for three
rights and the protection of union members from                    years.137
discrimination, albeit with a few restrictions. In every
case, however, the lack of effective enforcement,                  The ITUC explains how other restrictions are exploited
significant loopholes in non-discrimination laws, and              by employers in Bangladesh:
frequent signals from government and the courts that
they will side with employers, mean that in practice               Workers who try to create a trade union are not
workers do not have the legal protection that they                 protected before registration and are therefore often
should have.                                                       persecuted by their employers, sometimes by violent
                                                                   means or with the help of the police. The names of
For example, in Sri Lanka:                                         workers who apply for union registration are frequently
                                                                   passed on to employers who promptly transfer or dis-
“Employers tend to delay the holding of union                      miss them, particularly in the textile sector. Even after
certification polls for a long time, and use this time             registration, workers suspected of carrying out trade
to identify, victimise and, frequently, fire the union             union activities are regularly harassed. One popular
activists concerned. As a result, workers are afraid of            ploy is to dismiss a worker for misconduct, as they
being identified with the union, and the union loses the           are then no longer entitled to become a trade union
poll.”134                                                          officer. A complaint to the Labour Court is of little use
                                                                   given the underlying corruption and serious backlog
While in India:                                                    of cases which, in some instances, can stretch back
                                                                   more than several years.138
“Employers tend to either ignore the law making it il-
legal to dismiss a worker for their trade union activities




36                                               Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
Outside of Export Processing Zones:                                                 In Bangladesh, many workers we spoke to said they
                                                                                    would like to join a trade union, but one worker in a
Workers are regularly sacked, beaten or subjected to                                Lidl and Walmart supplier summed up the reason why
false charges by the police for being active in unions.                             they had not:
The General Secretary of the United Federation of
Garment Workers (UGFW) has been arrested more                                       “If we try to form a union we will lose our job. So I do
than a dozen times.139                                                              not want any union.”143

Most significantly in Bangladesh, there is not yet                                  At that factory, a line manager had been fired simply
freedom of association in Export Processing Zones,                                  for raising workers’ concerns with the managing direc-
although restrictions are being lifted in a phased                                  tor.144
manner. The first stage, until November 2006, was
the formation of Workers Representation and Welfare                                 At another Bangladeshi factory supplying Walmart,
Committees (WRWCs). The ITUC reports, “An unde-                                     Tesco and Carrefour, where wages are below the aver-
termined yet significant number of [WRWC] leaders                                   age in our sample, and hours long, a worker said:
and activist members have been terminated... in proc-
esses that workers claimed were biased and unfair.”140                              “We raise our demands and register complaints, but
                                                                                    nothing happens. The management say just work if
                                                                                    you like it. You do not need to work [here] if you do not
Trade union rights in the Giants’                                                   like it”.145
suppliers
                                                                                    Only one workplace – a Tesco supplier in India - in
                                                                                    our sample of 31 had a trade union. In that factory,
“Are you joking? We are not even allowed to talk to                                 working conditions were markedly better. A worker
each other inside or in the premises of the company.                                explained how the trade union helped them when they
And you are talking about unions... One can never                                   had problems:
even imagine building a union in our company.”
Operator, Carrefour factory, Tirupur 141                                            “Whenever we have a problem, first the worker dis-
                                                                                    cusses it with their supervisor… If it doesn’t work out,
As expected, most workers that we spoke to in con-                                  the union leader in the factory will take up the discus-
ducting this research were unaware of their right to                                sion. If it doesn’t get solved there, the local area union
join a trade union. Some did not really know what a                                 leader will come to the factory. If that process fails,
trade union was, and those who did know didn’t real-                                our district level leaders will come and negotiate with
ise that their right to join one was enshrined in law. But                          the management. That way, our union is very effective
in almost all cases this is irrelevant, because factory                             inside the factory.”146
managements had succeeded in communicating to
workers that membership of a trade union would not                                  In most factories workers viewed a trade union as a
be tolerated. At a Tesco supplier in India, a worker told                           nice aspiration but entirely unrealistic, given the at-
us bluntly that:                                                                    titude of their management. In a significant number
                                                                                    of cases, workers had been persecuted and fired for
“If you form a union, you will be out. You will be                                  trade union activities, or just for speaking out about
evicted at any time without any prior notice. It has also                           mistreatment. Although we did speak to some isolated
been mentioned in the call letter”.142                                              union members, none had dared to try to organise




Workers at an Aldi supplier recounted
management tactics to stifle dissent that
included beatings, firings, and raising
false legal charges against workers.

Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                           37
their factory. As a worker at an Indian Walmart supplier           the evidence suggests it is), it is a state of affairs that
explained:                                                         needs to be corrected.

“The management knows that I am a union member.                    Correcting it requires a tremendous amount of educa-
So, I am always the target. I don’t challenge them                 tion and reassurance for workers and often for manag-
about anything usually. I try to do my job and leave.              ers too. In order to have full access to their trade union
Still, my supervisor always keeps an eye on me. When               rights, garment workers need contact with local trade
I move here and there, they keep checking what I am                union representatives or legitimate local labour rights
up to. If I move around, they will check if I am actually          groups who can give them the chance to understand
talking to some workers.”147                                       their rights in a practical sense. Otherwise, workers
                                                                   like the Indian woman who said “I will not risk my job
Carrefour, Tesco, and Walmart all source from a cer-               by joining a union” will not have the courage to speak
tain garment company in Bangladesh. This company                   out when they really need to. 151
has received significant attention because of repeated
labour unrest in its factories, stamped out by terroris-
ing workers and collaboration with the police. During
one such conflict in November 2007, police asked
workers about their problems, pretending that they are
trying to negotiate and convince the factory manage-
ment. In good faith, workers told them honestly about
their conditions, only later to be picked up by police
and put into jail on various false charges.148

Some of the factories of this company are located in
an industrial area of the capital, near to a huge slum
where many workers live. After the labour unrest, staff
identified the houses of workers living in the slum,
who were subsequently intimidated by locals, in as-
sociation with staff. Our research team had to cancel
its schedule several times because the workers at the
last moment became so frightened that they refused
to talk, convinced that what they said would be report-
ed to the factory authority by ‘spies’.149

Similarly an Aldi supplier in Bangladesh had a clear
history of trade union repression. One male worker
had been fired for association with a trade union, while
two female workers were not only sacked but forced
to leave the neighbourhood for attempting to organise
workers. Workers recounted management tactics to
stifle dissent that included beatings, firings, and rais-
ing false legal charges against workers. 150



Conclusion: Workers deprived
of a voice

The litmus test of whether any brand or retailer is
taking its responsibility seriously is not that a trade
union forms in a workplace, but that workers have
the confidence that if they were to try to organise,
there would be no retaliation. This requires strong
signals from the buyer to workers and management,
and effective education by trusted local people. In not
one case from our sample was this evident, and in
nearly every case workers stated that management’s
attitude would make it impossible to form a trade
union. Whether or not this perception is correct (and




38                                               Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
39
Workers employed by
contractors and those
on temporary contracts
face lower pay, poorer
conditions, and a
constant fear that they
will lose their jobs.
Chapter 6

Precarious Employment

A growing trend in the garment industry is the growth in employment patterns
such as long-term temporary contracts, sometimes through a labour contractor,
short-term contracts and day workers, and subcontracting. While these forms of
employment can be positive when chosen by workers – in particular, homework
– they are not positive when employers use them to replace permanent
employment, to circumvent their legal obligations to workers, or to divide and
rule their workforce.




One trend is the increasing use of temporary contracts                              autonomy to workers to determine their own hours of
to replace permanent ones: workers are employed for                                 working and conditions – these are frequently some of
a fixed-term period of a few weeks or months, maybe                                 the most vulnerable, lowest paid and exploited work-
even a year, at a time. This reduces employers’ costs                               ers.
in payments to the state for social security provision,
reduces the rights they have to afford to workers, and
therefore keeps their workforce more compliant.                                     Growing use of precarious labour
There is a legitimate case for using temporary con-                                 Not all codes of conduct contain provisions limiting
tracts at particular times as a small proportion of the                             the use of precarious employment and, where they do,
workforce, where there is no other way to manage a                                  they could be more specific. In India and Sri Lanka, a
fluctuating workload. But this should be done with                                  number of factories had a growing workforce of tem-
care, and should only apply to a small proportion of                                porary or agency workers, and in both countries we
workers: a more ‘flexible’, ‘efficient’ workforce is also                           found factories producing for giant retailers in which
one with a poorer quality of employment, greater un-                                the majority of workers were fixed-term contract or
certainty and, ultimately, a lower quality of life.                                 casual workers.

Another mode of precarious employment is the growth                                 Two workers in Bangalore producing for Walmart told
in contract or agency workers inside factories: workers                             us:
who are to all intents and purposes factory employees,
but whose employment relationship is with a middle-                                 “Only a few workers are permanent, like [in] the check-
man. Almost without exception, these workers face                                   ing department. Others are all piece workers. So, they
lower pay, harder targets, and a more uncertain future.                             keep coming and going. If they don’t do their work
                                                                                    properly or if they take leave, they will be asked to go.
This particular form of casualised, precarious work is                              If they make mistakes and create any problems in the
visible in some of the Giants’ retail operations too. Aldi                          piece, they will be fired immediately.”153
and Lidl have begun to use external labour contractors
for shelf stacking, stock-taking, telephone services,                               “The company has no standard rules. So, no one is
decoration, property management, cleaning and book-                                 permanent in our company. Everyone is temporary. If
keeping.152                                                                         our work is not good or if we take too much leave, fac-
                                                                                    tory manager and production manager would ask us
Factories may also outsource work to small backstreet                               to leave and we lose our job immediately.”154
workshops or homeworkers. While both these modes
of working have some advantages – they can afford




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                                                         41
“Only a few                                                         “I worry about my security. I don’t have job security
                                                                    because we are subcontracted. I am always afraid that

workers are                                                         I will have no money to pay in a month.”157

                                                                    Pay and conditions much worse
permanent… all                                                      Some of the worst conditions we found were for work-

piece workers keep                                                  ers employed by these labour contractors. Aside from
                                                                    lacking the safeguards of permanent employment,
                                                                    itself a step down, these workers were set higher daily
coming and going.”                                                  targets, often paid lower wages, were deprived of
                                                                    benefits such as maternity leave, and were much more
                                                                    afraid of being fired for stepping out of line.
- Worker at Walmart supplier, India
                                                                    “We are all under a contractor,” said one at an Indian
                                                                    factory supplying Carrefour. “There is a fixed wage for
                                                                    all work. I have been working for the last five years.
                                                                    I was paid 80 rupees (€ 1.20) then and I am paid 80
                                                                    rupees today as well.”158

                                                                    In Tesco’s Tirupur suppliers, contract workers could
                                                                    earn more than permanent workers per day – up to
                                                                    145 rupees (€ 2.18) – while in Delhi some were paid
There was no question that these workers felt their                 as little as 90 rupees (€ 1.35) per shift.159 One contract
position to be more precarious than others. Compare                 worker in Delhi told us, “My wage is very low. The cost
two of the Tesco suppliers we visited in Sri Lanka,                 of living has increased to such an extent that we can-
with the same sized workforce. In one, more than half               not manage with this small amount.”160
the workforce were employed on casual contracts,
compared to just a few in the other: twice as many                  A typical female contract worker on the checking line
workers in the first factory said that they were afraid of          in a factory supplying Carrefour in Tirupur gets paid
losing their jobs.155                                               only about 10 rupees (€ 0.15) per hour (€ 1.80 for a
                                                                    12-hour shift), as opposed to standard local wages of
In Indian factories we found a growing number of                    11-13 rupees (€ 0.17 to € 0.20) per hour.161
workers employed by labour contractors, but working
within the factory. Contractors hire workers on a piece             “Workers coming directly from the company will be
or day rate. One such contractor, operating in a Tesco              paid more. Others hired through contractors will be
factory in Tirupur, explained why there is growth in this           paid less than them,” said a helper at another Carre-
form of employment:                                                 four supplier in Delhi.162

“If it is a company supervisor, they cannot push                    A tailor also working for Carrefour in Delhi concurred:
workers for more work. So, production will be slow. A
contractor is kept mainly for maintenance of produc-                “We should have direct contact with the companies.
tion. A contractor will always give better production               We can often find a great variation of standards
because he can control his workers better and bring                 between company workers and contract workers.
as many workers as required whenever necessity                      Our salaries are always late. We never get salaries in
arises. Basically production is high when workers are               time.”163
under a contractor.”156
                                                                    Unionisation for contract workers is even harder than
In Thailand we visited subcontracting workshops                     for permanent workers, as one Indian worker in a
supplying Tesco and Walmart. These workers rely on                  Walmart supplier said:
bits of work from larger factories, and faced some of
the worst working conditions we found. Hours were                   “Unionisation seems impracticable. People work-
longer, pay was lower, and many workers had given up                ing on behalf of some company can do that because
and left because they couldn’t survive. As these were               they are permanent there. Moreover, the interference
cooperatives there was no exploitative management,                  of the contractor is so huge that people can’t come
but rather a collective understanding that unless they              together. He can easily divide the workers by several
worked harder and for less, these workers would have                means. We also come from different regions outside,
no income at all. Workers at a subcontractor supplying              that makes it almost impossible for us to become a
Tesco Lotus in Thailand explained that:                             union.”164




42                                                Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
Conclusion: Lack of job security
Carrefour’s code, together with the BSCI code to
which Aldi and Lidl have signed up (see Chapter 3),
make no reference to job security. The ETI Base Code,
to which Tesco and Walmart’s Asda George have
signed up, states that, “Obligations to employees un-
der labour or social security laws and regulations aris-
ing from the regular employment relationship shall not
be avoided through the use of labour-only contracting,
sub-contracting, or home-working arrangements... nor
shall any such obligations be avoided through the ex-
cessive use of fixed-term contracts of employment.”165

Our research in India and Sri Lanka has categorically
shown that exactly these abuses take place. Work-
ers employed by contractors and those on temporary
contracts face lower pay, poorer conditions, and a
constant fear that they will lose their jobs. This is not
a question of a few workers brought in every so often
to help with an urgent order; it is a systematic and
spreading use of precarious forms of employment
both to manage fluctuating orders and to further tip
the power balance in favour of employers.




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry   43
The Giants’ size and
price-breaking
approach make them
leaders in the global
race to the bottom on
working conditions.
Chapter 7
Why the Giants’ Business
Model is at Fault

The abuses of workers’ rights that we uncovered in our research may be
widespread throughout the industry, but that doesn’t absolve the Giants of their
responsibility. All five have made and continue to make public claims about
their commitments to good working conditions, including through the codes of
conduct discussed in Chapter 3. As leading global retailers with a significant
share of retail and of garment wholesale markets, they should be leading on
labour rights too.




Yet the evidence from our research suggests a                                       Why is this factory manager so concerned? Why isn’t
lacklustre approach at best. They seem to treat the                                 he able to meet the standards set out in the code of
widespread presence of labour rights abuses as an                                   conduct? For sure, it is likely that he is more interested
excuse to shrug their shoulders and carry on regard-                                in maximising his own profits than he is in workers’
less, rather than a reason to re-examine the way they                               rights. But something has undermined the credibility of
do business.                                                                        his buyer’s own demands on labour rights, as set out
                                                                                    in the code of conduct.
The Giants have built systems that are supposed
to ensure factories’ compliance with their codes of                                 Our research suggests three factors in particular, all of
conduct. But these merely create a set of hoops for                                 them discussed in more detail below. First, the Giants’
suppliers and workers to jump through - often with the                              commercial terms are incompatible with meeting the
tacit approval of the Giants’ own local staff. The result                           standards in their codes of conduct. Their require-
has very little positive impact on working conditions.                              ments on cost and lead time make it impossible for
                                                                                    him to pay a living wage, send his workers home at 5
But most concerning is the way that the Giants fail                                 p.m., and still turn a profit. It’s clear what his clients
to balance the competing demands of their business                                  see as the bottom line, and it isn’t ethics.
model - which requires low prices, quick turnarounds
and greater uncertainty – with those of good labour                                 Second, the giant retailers have a reputation among
conditions. This chapter describes the impact on                                    suppliers for pushing harder on price – so much so
workers in more detail.                                                             that the more successful suppliers quoted below turn
                                                                                    them down.

Making a mockery of compliance                                                      Third, there are specific instances in which certain as-
                                                                                    pects of the commercial relationship can be observed
“Of course the buyer [Walmart] has many compliance                                  to have a more direct impact on working conditions, in
standards. If we try to implement all of them, we can                               particular on wages, working hours and flexibilisation
sit at home. No production will happen... To ask us to                              of the labour force. The sections that follow discuss
complete production with a code of conduct is one                                   these in more detail.
thing and to implement it is another thing.”
Factory Manager, Tirupur, India 176




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                                                           45
The ‘tick box’ approach is not enough

Chapter 3 discussed the codes of conduct that giant              When used as part of a broader toolbox of measures,
retailers have adopted. These codes contain minimum              and when done rigorously and sensitively, audits can be
standards that should apply to all workers involved in           useful.172 But our research indicates that too often they
the production and distribution of the clothes they sell.        are seen as a meaningless piece of paperwork by eve-
It’s no secret that working conditions throughout the            ryone, including workers, factory managers, and even
global garment industry fall well short of those stand-          those responsible for sourcing.
ards. But by signing up to these codes and other initia-
tives, the Giants have committed themselves publicly to          “If foreign people come, [factory managers] tell lies to
making a serious attempt to fixing that problem.                 them. But none of it is true in practice. None of it is true
                                                                 in practice. All lies. They also ask us to tell lies to them.
Our research showed little evidence of such an effort on         We have to tell lies to retain our work. Otherwise they
the ground. The gap between the rhetoric of codes and            will send us out. So we have to lie.”
reality of life in factories was accepted as a fact to be        Woman tailor, Tesco supplier, Delhi 173
accepted, not a problem to be addressed:
                                                                 “Well, Tesco inspectors don’t work in the night. So, they
To be honest, if we try to implement all these standards,        would not know whether they [garment workers] work
there will be no suppliers left who can make garments.           in the night or not. “
So, we have to show a little bit of flexibility. We just         Tesco sourcing employee, India 174
can’t be so strict in implementing these standards.
Tesco sourcing employee, India.166                               “If they come and talk to us, we will only say what the
                                                                 [Human Resources Department] has asked us to say. I
We do not read this [code of conduct], because it would          need money to survive and so I need my job. So, I will
not benefit us. We do not get the benefits mentioned             say that the company pays us for overtime work, gives
in it. - Woman manufacturing for Tesco, Carrefour and            us good wages, etc. What else can I do?”
Walmart, Bangladesh.167                                          Packing Supervisor, Walmart Factory, Bangalore 175



The Giants’ solution to labour rights problems is to             When factories are audited, workers told us, wage slips
inspect supplier factories in an attempt to determine            are forged, underage workers sent home, childcare
the working conditions. Walmart conducts 16,000 such             centres opened especially, and all manner of cosmetic
social audits across its supply chains each year, while          improvements made. In one factory supplying Aldi in
Carrefour states that it audited 609 factories in 2007.168       Bangladesh, the room shown to auditors as a child-
                                                                 care facility is nothing of the sort – it’s the room where
Both have published auditing data that allow us to               managers eat their lunches.176 In more than one Bangla-
catch a glimpse of what they think is going on in their          deshi factory, the childcare facility was only opened on
supply chains. Carrefour concedes that, in 2005, more            days when audits were expected, when workers were
than 70% of its clothing suppliers in China violated             instructed to bring in their children. An auditor with any
its charter concerning wages and working hours, for              kind of credibility should be aware of this subterfuge; it
example.169 Walmart states that up to 50% of suppliers           seems more likely that a blind eye has been turned.
across Asia were guilty of ‘excessive hours’ (more than
72 hours a week) and a substantial proportion did not
pay the ‘minimum or applicable’ wage.170 Most tellingly,
the proportion of factories at which Walmart found
‘medium-risk’ and ‘high-risk’ violations grew from 72%
in 2004 to 91% in 2006.171 So even on its own terms,
auditing is not reducing violations, but merely opening a
window on them.




46                                               Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
Sourcing structures: how the Giants divide                                          conditions at their suppliers. As one secondary agent
and rule their suppliers                                                            supplying Carrefour told us:

Carrefour, Tesco, and Walmart structure their sourcing                              “It really depends on the buyer with whom we work.
in similar ways. All have decentralised their purchasing                            Some buyers insist on certifications, while others do
arrangements through a global network of offices. For                               not care... Mostly European agencies do not ask for
example, although Carrefour’s sourcing strategy and                                 it.”181
coordination is primarily run from Madrid and Paris,
there are three regional hubs in Sao Paolo, Paris and                               A manufacturer added:
Hong Kong, which manage the merchandising and
also have responsibility for social and environmental                               “They [Carrefour] are very strict about their norms. We
matters. Underneath these are sourcing offices in 13                                do not deal with them directly. If we were a direct sup-
main production countries (including China, India,                                  plier, would we need to have more compliance to their
Bangladesh, Turkey, Morocco, Poland, and Brazil),                                   standards.”182
through which the buying and technology functions
with suppliers are managed, including price negotia-                                Indeed, there is evidence that suppliers deliberately
tion and quality control.178                                                        pursue the indirect route as a way of avoiding techni-
                                                                                    cal and social checks.183 A buying agent-cum-small
To supply directly to any of these three Giants, a                                  manufacturer in Tirupur told us:
manufacturer must gain accreditation, based on
technical and social audits to ensure that it meets the                             “It is very difficult to get orders directly from Walmart.
requisite technical, social and environmental stand-                                Our factories need to be approved by them. It is a
ards. There is an easy way to circumvent this accredi-                              complicated process. For small manufacturers like us,
tation process, however. All three of these Giants also                             it is better to go through licensees because they will
source indirectly via importers based on the European                               take care of all paper work and negotiations.”184
and American continents, which in turn use a network
of in-country agents. For example, Indian manufactur-                               Our researchers found one large supplier, with manu-
ers producing clothes on sale in Carrefour went via                                 facturing units in Mumbai, Bangalore, and Tirupur,
importers based in the US, France, Italy, and South                                 which had located its head office in the US and
America, with relationships mediated by an Indian-                                  registered with Walmart as an agent to avoid these
based secondary agent.179                                                           checks.185 The offices of secondary agents can be
                                                                                    as little as one or two computers to communicate
Aldi and Lidl source entirely from importers, with Aldi                             with the licensed buying agents abroad. Similarly, the
stating that all its suppliers are based in Germany.180                             manufacturing units may comprise small units with as
                                                                                    few as ten machines each.
Unlike with direct suppliers, retailers seem to place no
obligations at all on importers to check up on working                              Walmart looks for scale when seeking direct suppliers,
                                                                                    and many of its longer-term suppliers have factories
                                                                                    with around 80% of production (10 months per year)
                                                                                    devoted to Walmart.186 Of course, these suppliers
                                                                                    do not gain better terms in return for the scale but,
                                                                                    as Walmart takes more and more from them, they
                                                                                    become more dependent. Tesco and Carrefour do
                                                                                    not usually take such a large proportion of suppliers’
                                                                                    production.

Retailers seem                                                                      Technology plays a crucial role in Walmart’s sourc-

to place no
                                                                                    ing. This Giant arranges all of its purchasing through
                                                                                    Retail Link – the biggest, most sophisticated electronic
                                                                                    purchasing system possessed by a single retailer. Re-

obligations on                                                                      tail Link represents a sizeable proportion of all global
                                                                                    procurement, and has spawned a whole training and

importers to check
                                                                                    education business in itself.187

                                                                                    Direct suppliers have to be registered with the regional

conditions at                                                                       sourcing office, meaning that they have passed all of
                                                                                    the compliance checks, before they can access Retail

suppliers.
                                                                                    Link. Once they are registered, suppliers can access
                                                                                    the specifications of Walmart orders that are out to




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                           47
Unrealistic lead                                                   Speed and uncertainty are bad for garment
                                                                   workers

times are                                                          “It is not fully possible to implement all these [code of
                                                                   conduct standards]... We also have to chase the deliv-
compounded by                                                      ery date and complete orders within the lead time.”
                                                                   Merchandising Manager, Carrefour Certified Factory 189


last-minute                                                        “The big buyers like Walmart do not care whether we
                                                                   live or die producing it. They will not listen to any of
changes.                                                           our excuses. If we have an agreement, whatever hap-
                                                                   pens, garments have to be delivered. That is it. It is
                                                                   not their problem that we got delayed.”
                                                                    Indirect Buying Agent, Walmart 190



                                                                   The seasonality of orders from all their clients is a
                                                                   problem for garment suppliers in India, leading to
                                                                   an intensive period of orders during November and
                                                                   December, and a dead period in July and August.
tender, and compete for them in online inverse auc-                Factories’ response to this is to have workers stay on
tions – a real-time competition against other suppliers.           through the night during the busy period, and to re-
                                                                   cruit contract workers who can be laid off for the two
Carrefour also uses technology to arrange its sourc-               months that they are closed. As a group of workers in
ing. Every season, the retailer distributes inquiries for          Delhi told us, “The company can easily expel us from
orders by email. Carrefour takes samples from many                 work at any moment saying ‘there is no work now’.
suppliers and will choose 2-3 among them for a par-                Also they can again ask us for work when they get
ticular order. A target price is quoted to the selected            orders.”191 A Walmart supplier told us:
suppliers, who then propose their own price, and must
then compete online with other shortlisted suppliers               “If we have more orders, we can have more workers.
for the lowest price. Suppliers state that the pricing,            But if the order is less, we cannot afford to keep em-
quality of goods, and fast paced delivery are the de-              ployees idle without being able to give them work. So,
ciding factors in getting a business order.188                     we can only hire contract labourers depending, on the
                                                                   work load. The buyer also knows these facts.”192
Tesco’s certified suppliers receive briefing papers four
times a year, outlining the orders that they can com-              The size and urgency of Walmart orders also con-
pete for. They submit sale samples within ten days,                tributes directly to the trend towards flexible labour,
which are used to shortlist suppliers, before a negotia-           subcontracting, and excessive overtime. If the vast
tion on price is used to find the final supplier. Once             majority of a factory’s work is for Walmart, and Wal-
a supplier is selected, the retailer opens the letter of           mart’s orders require large amounts of production in
credit, a guarantee of payment that allows the supplier            a short amount of time, a ‘feast and famine’ pattern
to source raw materials.                                           emerges, which eats away at the factory’s capacity to
                                                                   maintain decent hours and a permanent workforce.
As is common in the garment industry, the Giants’                  Another factory manager supplying Walmart told us:
suppliers then need to receive pre-production ap-
proval. This is a process of sending samples to the                “During shipment dates, it is always a last-breath situ-
retailer’s technologists, until the samples are ‘right’.           ation. At that time, if some worker comes, we would
The consignment must be delivered by a certain date,               just invite them with open hands. Our only focus is to
which is fixed regardless of the length of time it takes           complete production on time for shipment. Otherwise
to acquire pre-production approval.                                it is air cargo. So, we won’t bother. All we need is
                                                                   enough workers to complete production.”193
We’ve seen above that purchasing relationships are
set up in such a way as to maximise competition                    And a permanently-employed tailor said that:
between suppliers. But it is the terms that the Giants
then extract from suppliers using these systems – dis-             “There is always emergency work before shipment.
cussed in the next two sections - that are at the root             Last three days are usually very hectic. There is no
of the problem.                                                    question of why shipments happen and how we do
                                                                   it and all. Planning and all does not work. We have to
                                                                   complete our orders as buyers ask us to do.”194




48                                               Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
The problem of unrealistic lead times is often com-                                 toughest of auditors to inspect their goods. Those
pounded at pre-production stage. Suppliers described                                inspectors reject the consignment for minor reasons
a notable characteristic of Walmart’s approach to                                   and squeeze out the best of quality from the suppli-
procurement: its hard negotiation over the quality of                               ers.198
samples.195 Technologists make last-minute changes
to orders, and take an excessively stringent approach,                              Tesco, on the other hand, is more disciplined than
meaning that the pre-production approval process                                    many other brands regarding changes to orders. It
drags on, eating into the lead time and making it more                              does not make changes at pre-production approval
challenging to complete the order in time. Said one                                 stage and, if the pre-production samples are not
Indian manufacturer:                                                                accepted within thirty days, the order is cancelled to
                                                                                    avoid excessive pressure to meet the original dead-
“You know Asda [Walmart’s UK subsidiary]. They are                                  line.199 Tesco also allows some flexibility on lead times,
the worst. They keep on giving changes until the last                               both a day or two’s grace on delivery deadlines, and
minute. After that we will be finding it so difficult to fin-                       an option of shipping a small remainder of the order a
ish production before the shipment date. But they will                              week or two after the deadline. Of course, beyond this
never accept that it is their fault. They will find some                            flexibility, suppliers are still obliged to pay to airfreight
excuses to show that we are at fault. What can we do                                delayed orders, a threat that workers too are aware of.
then? They are big buyers, right? We will only have
to adjust. Then they will start asking us to send it at                             Workers at Tesco suppliers in India and Bangladesh
a discounted price and so on. They are the ones who                                 said that they frequently had to work into the night to
delayed the approval. Still, we have to air cargo it or                             meet “emergency orders,” but suppliers themselves in
give them a discount so that they will take it after the                            India told us that Tesco does not put the same amount
shipment date.”196                                                                  of unreasonable requests on them as other retailers.200
                                                                                    These emergency shifts must be due to either prob-
Suppliers are forced increase the quality of the pre-                               lems created by other clients, or poor management at
production samples just to pass the approval, without                               the factory.
being able to negotiate a corresponding increase in
prices or lead times. And increased quality without                                 Impossible prices mean impossible wages
increased time puts workers under more pressure. A
tailor in Bangalore bemoaned that:                                                  As discussed earlier, low costs are fundamental to
                                                                                    the giant retailers’ business models. Because they
100 pieces per hour are NOT possible if they are                                    compete on price, selling with low profit margins, the
looking for quality. Small stitches are possible. For ex-                           pressure to cut costs is huge, and is passed on to
ample, shirt cuffs, sleeves, etc. are possible. Even big                            suppliers. The impact on suppliers has been docu-
stitches like one side of a shirt are possible. But when                            mented for many years, in many sectors.
they ask us to complete two sides of shirt, which is
a big stitch, it is impossible for us to complete 100                               Perhaps the biggest examination of supermarkets’
pieces per hour.                                                                    impact on their suppliers has come through three
Tailor, Bangalore 197                                                               successive investigations by the British Competition
                                                                                    Commission. The Commission concluded in 2000
A staff member at one local NGO nearby put it like                                  that, “The burden of cost increases in the supply chain
this:                                                                               has fallen disproportionately heavily on small suppliers
                                                                                    such as farmers.”201
Even the manufacturers are fed up of Walmart be-
cause, despite paying peanuts to them, they send the                                In the difficult global financial situation emerging at the
                                                                                    end of 2008, we can see some examples of how this
                                                                                    burden-transferring occurs. A leaked letter from Tesco
                                                                                    to a Polish poultry supplier in October 2008 states:

                                                                                    Due to the deepening financial crisis, dropping prices
Time and cost                                                                       of materials (milk, grain, oil, vegetable and fruit), in-
                                                                                    creased price aggressiveness of discount stores (Lidl,

pressures are                                                                       Biedronka), and our willingness to provide competi-
                                                                                    tive offers to our customers, we are forced to lower
                                                                                    purchasing prices and improve commercial terms in
passed on directly                                                                  2009.202


to workers.                                                                         The same occurs in garments. Bangladeshi news-
                                                                                    papers reported in September 2008 that Walmart




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                             49
had demanded a 2% rebate from garment suppliers                      But Tesco still has a reputation for being fearsome in
(although Walmart denied the story).203 Tesco UK has                 its price negotiations. As one factory manager said:
written to all its non-food suppliers advising them that
it has worsened its payment terms: now it will not pay               We always fix a lower mark-up price as well as a high
them until 60 days after it has received the goods,                  mark-up price for a particular sample. Tesco would
instead of 30 days.204 Suppliers are effectively provid-             push us to lower our prices to the level of other coun-
ing Tesco with an interest free loan during the financial            tries that have given them low quality samples. We
crisis.                                                              would stick to our high mark-up price during negotia-
                                                                     tions. When we have no choice, we will have to come
ActionAid reported in 2007 that it had been told by                  down to our lower mark-up price just to get their
factory managers in Bangladesh that, even as the                     order. However, it is our policy not to take orders when
national minimum wage rose significantly in late 2006,               they push it below our lower mark-up price. But there
the price Tesco paid for manufactured clothes (the CM                are companies who take those orders.210
price) was 5-10% lower than it was in 2003-04.205 One
supplier said that Tesco’s CM price had halved in the                In Thailand, workers in a small workshop supplying
last ten years, despite a doubling in the cost of living             Tesco Lotus via an agent said that, “We don’t always
in Bangladesh. Another said, “We cannot negotiate                    make for [Tesco] Lotus because Lotus pays us less
properly for fear they will place the order in another               for difficult products. We have to spend much more
factory or country.” 206                                             time but get much less money... We feel very stressed
                                                                     working for Lotus. They give us very little time.” 211
Suppliers in our survey had different experiences                    These workers explained that if the products they
of Tesco in this regard. Potential business orders                   worked on did not meet quality controls, they had
are distributed only within one country and so, for                  to compensate Lotus at the retail price, not the cost
example, Indian suppliers only compete against other                 price.
Indian suppliers.207 Although the competition is severe,
suppliers say they enjoy a more stable relationship                  In a similar workshop supplying Walmart, workers said
with Tesco, with a continuous supply of orders, and                  that overall the average price for completing a piece
with orders spread across many suppliers rather than                 of clothing was 10 baht, but that when producing for a
taking the bulk of production at a single supplier.208 A             Walmart supplier they made just over 4 baht per piece
factory manager in Tirupur told us:                                  – only ‘liveable’ because of the excessive overtime
                                                                     performed by these informal workers.212 Despite this,
“Usually, only two-three suppliers would compete                     producing for Walmart suppliers would keep them
for a particular order, which implies that there is little           working all year round, while other clients do not con-
competition compared to Carrefour. They split the                    fer the same certainty.
orders among Indian suppliers only, so we don’t have
to compete with other countries.”209                                 This is the trade-off that Walmart presents suppliers
                                                                     with: the number and size of orders gives a degree
                                                                     of security that the factory will be able to run all year
                                                                     round, but in return the supplier must accept lower
                                                                     prices and worse terms than from other brands. An
                                                                     Indirect Buying Agent told us:

                                                                     “Companies need Walmart because it has large
                                                                     quantities. Even if the margins are low, huge quantities
                                                                     give assured business. Once a company has certain
                                                                     infrastructure, leaving machines idle can cost a lot of

“We have to spend                                                    money. In such cases, even if the margins are low or
                                                                     even at a loss, suppliers will take the orders just to

much more time
                                                                     reduce their infrastructure costs.” 213

                                                                     From our research there was no doubt that Walmart

but get much less                                                    uses factories that some other brands will not touch,
                                                                     that its ethical compliance was taken less seriously,

money….”
                                                                     and that the cost pressures it creates contribute to
                                                                     poorer pay and conditions for workers at its suppliers.
                                                                     Said an Indirect Buying Agent:

- Worker at workshop supplying                                       “If I personally feel that the costs cannot be covered,
  Tesco Lotus, Thailand                                              I will not take those orders. Even if we reject an order,




50                                                 Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
“Psychological                                                                      desperate or less scrupulous than might otherwise be
                                                                                    the case. These same characteristics of the suppliers

torture”                                                                            mean they are likely to treat their workers worse.217

                                                                                    Second, the pressure created by competing demands
                                                                                    of good working conditions and faster, cheaper
- Description of Carrefour’s model                                                  production can be relieved through cheating the
  of negotiation with suppliers                                                     compliance procedures. Our research uncovered
                                                                                    faked time-sheets and payslips, workers forced to lie
                                                                                    to inspectors, and many other such tricks. Whatever
                                                                                    store the Giants’ head offices and public statements
                                                                                    may place on social audits, the evidence cited in this
                                                                                    chapter demonstrates that their staff on the ground
                                                                                    are blasé about the gap between conditions in facto-
                                                                                    ries and those reported in audits.

                                                                                    Third and finally, the time and cost pressures are
there are many buying houses here that take up the                                  passed on directly to workers in the form of insecure,
same orders with the target price the buyer quotes or                               poorly paid employment. In effect, garment workers
even less... I do not know how they manage. Either                                  are subsidising the low prices on supermarket shelves.
because they do not do the costing properly or do                                   The subsidies come in the form of two widespread
a superficial costing and realise only by the end of                                cost-cutting measures: the increasing use of contract
production that they are going to end up in losses or it                            workers, and systematic, unpaid, compulsory over-
could be merely to survive in a competition.” 214                                   time.

In Les Coulisses de la Grande Distribution 215, Christian                           The uncertainty built into sourcing systems, and
Jacquiau describes the “Carrefour Model” of nego-                                   especially to Internet inverse auctions, means that
tiation with suppliers, which he says is tantamount                                 suppliers have to compete for each and every order:
to “psychological torture.” One ex-Carrefour buyer                                  there is no certainty that they will have work, making
quoted by Jacquiau says,                                                            it harder to plan round the seasonality of orders. The
                                                                                    system places suppliers in different countries in direct
“I worked in cut flower buying. We were taught to                                   competition for each order, inevitably pushing down
impose the best terms we could in contracts, and                                    costs which are passed on to workers in lower wages,
then we would refuse the delivery because it didn’t                                 demands for unpaid overtime, and a growing recourse
conform to our quality standards. That allowed us to                                to cheaper contract workers.
pay five francs for a chrysanthemum worth fifteen. If
the supplier refused, he was simply left with his unsold                            Furthermore, the Giants’ size and price-breaking ap-
product.” 216                                                                       proach make them leaders, not followers in the global
                                                                                    race to the bottom on working conditions. Other retail-
                                                                                    ers are forced to drop their retail prices and get more
Conclusion: Trying to have it                                                       aggressive with their suppliers to stay competitive,
both ways                                                                           while suppliers have to accept lower prices if they are
                                                                                    to survive.

As we have seen in this chapter, giant retailers favour                             Walmart’s new slogan is “Save Money. Live Better.”
purchasing practices that aim to get the maximum                                    The reality is that while the Giants may save money,
flexibility and the lowest prices from their suppliers.                             the workers who subsidise them live much, much
At the same time, they say that they are improving                                  worse.
the systems they have in place to enforce their codes
of conduct on labour rights. These two factors are
frequently in tension, because the Giants’ purchasing
practices create a number of pressures that are bad
for workers.

First, there is a selective pressure on the suppli-
ers they use. As some of the accounts cited above
suggest, the low prices and other poor purchasing
practices associated with giant retailers bias their sup-
ply chains towards factories whose owners are more




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                         51
Far from lifting
women out of
poverty, the Giants
are cashing in on it.
Chapter 8

Women Workers:
Bearing the Brunt

As we have seen, time and cost pressures on a workplace - be it a factory,
distribution centre or store - lead to poor pay and working conditions, trade
union suppression, and insecure employment inside it. But these impacts on
workers are not distributed equally. The group most susceptible is women.




In order to understand why, we must first understand                                The triple burden at work in the
the ‘triple burden’ faced by women in countries that                                garment industry
produce garments, a cocktail of economic, social, and
cultural factors:
                                                                                    Figure 3 shows how the triple burden affects women
1. Women are often the main breadwinner for their                                   working in the garment industry. Women workers are
   families, in need of income for themselves, their                                over-represented in the lower paid jobs at the bottom
   elderly relatives and their children. Girls are always                           of management hierarchies, and under-represented
   the first to be removed from school and sent into                                higher up. Even amongst people doing the same jobs,
   employment when times are tight – many miss                                      women are likely to experience more abuses of their
   school in order to earn money so that their broth-                               rights. And these abuses affect them more. Let’s look
   ers can be educated. Where married, many women                                   at how our research bears this out.
   must go out to work because their husband does
   not, because he earns too little or too infrequently,                            More likely to be in jobs where labour rights
   or because he has left them.                                                     abuses are common

2. Aside from this productive work, women also bear                                 The vast majority of garment workers – around 80%
   the responsibility for domestic work, meaning that                               - are women. This is no accident, but a result of dis-
   they return home from their long, arduous days at                                crimination from start to finish.
   the factory to a pile of chores: washing, cleaning
   and cooking. It is the girls in the family who, again,                           Women are pushed into garment industry work by the
   are expected to miss out on school or play to as-                                needs and constraints placed upon them by their triple
   sist their mother in these tasks.                                                burden. Women feel the acute need to find income for
                                                                                    themselves and their dependents, whether children,
3. And women the world over – for cultural as well                                  siblings or elderly relatives. However, there are fewer
   as biological reasons – bear the responsibility for                              alternative employment opportunities available to
   reproductive work. Rarely acknowledged as a valu-                                women, who have often not received the same level of
   able contribution to society, bearing and raising                                education as men. The same cultural stereotypes that
   children is nonetheless a tremendous additional                                  position women as ‘passive’ mean that they are not
   burden for garment workers and other women.                                      seen as ‘real’ workers, with fewer employment options
                                                                                    culturally acceptable for them. These same stere-
                                                                                    otypes may lie behind the feminisation of the precari-
                                                                                    ous forms of work discussed in Chapter 6: women are
                                                                                    denied the right to job security.




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                                                         53
Figure 3: Why labour rights abuses affect women more




                                                                                              more likely to be in jobs where labour
          Among the whole population
                                                                                                  rights abuses are common




       Among those doing a particular job   ...women are...                                     more susceptible to labour rights
                                                                                                           abuses



       Among those experiencing labour                                                        more likely to be in a position where
               rights abuses                                                                  those abuses have a bigger impact




Women are pulled into the industry by employers tak-              The life stories of most of the women in our sample
ing advantage of the cultural stereotypes – to which              show that work in garments is a last resort, not an ex-
women are often obliged to adhere – of women as                   citing step up in the world – and it comes with a sense
passive and flexible. Productive, reproductive and                of inevitability. In Bangladesh, a woman we spoke to
domestic responsibilities constrain women’s ability               said, “because we are poor we have to work in gar-
to seek other work, to take action to improve their               ments…[it’s] my misfortune to earn a living this way.”218
working conditions, or to speak out about the abuse
they face, making them ideal employees in managers’               A typical story is this from a woman working at one of
eyes. As purchasing practices ratchet up the pressure             the Sri Lankan factories we visited:
on factories, these factors make a female workforce
more and more attractive to employers.                            “When I became a teenager, I stopped schooling,
                                                                  as I had to look after my brothers and sisters. As my
These discriminatory factors manifest themselves                  mother went to work, I had to cook food and look
within workplaces too. Where factories employ work-               after the younger ones... When I turned 16 or 17 years,
ers of both genders, there is rarely equality of pay or           I came to an interview to get a job in [the garment
of opportunity: typically the bulk of supervisors are             factory] through an acquaintance... [Now] my mother
male, while the majority of workers are female; the               does not work any more. It is I who gets the salary and
areas of work are usually split down gender lines, with           sends money home. The amount I send is not enough,
the ‘male’ activities better paid. For example, in most           but I have myself to feed. I am a girl but I do not have
of the Bangladeshi factories we visited, a strict gender          a pair of earrings. I do not have means of dressing
divide meant that women did the sewing work, while                fashionably because the pay I get is hardly enough to
men worked in the better paid fabric cutting jobs.                afford everything. What could I do? I console myself
                                                                  reflecting that this is the fate with which I was born.”219

                                                                  More susceptible to labour rights abuses

                                                                  Life for garment workers is no picnic, whether male
                                                                  or female; but women face a much tougher time
The life stories                                                  than their male counterparts. All the Giants’ codes of
                                                                  conduct prohibit discrimination against workers on the

of most of the                                                    grounds of gender, as well as outlawing physical pun-
                                                                  ishment and physical, verbal and sexual abuse. Yet in
                                                                  our research we found frequent examples of all these
women in our                                                      things, especially in Bangladesh: women workers
                                                                  earning less than male ones, and with less opportunity

sample show that                                                  for promotion; plus beatings, verbal insults - many of
                                                                  them sexual - and inappropriate comments and touch-
                                                                  ing by supervisors.
work in garments                                                  “They use language I cannot tell you. It makes you feel

is a last resort.                                                 so dirty that you want to leave the job,” said one wom-
                                                                  an at a Bangladeshi factory supplying Walmart, Carre-




54                                              Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
four, and Lidl, where three-quarters of the women we
spoke to reported verbal abuse.220 At another factory                               “They use language
supplying Walmart, Tesco, and Carrefour, one worker
described verbal abuse as a “regular daily matter.”221
and in another workers described being slapped by
                                                                                    I cannot tell you.
supervisors; one even had her head banged on a
table.222                                                                           It makes you feel so
Gender-based harassment in factories is an effective
tool to keep workers afraid and submissive. Our re-
                                                                                    dirty that you want
searchers in Bangladesh noted that verbal abuse was
frequently used when workers asked for leave, with                                  to leave the job.”
the result that workers absconded and accepted a cut
in their pay rather than having to face this abuse.
                                                                                    - Woman at Bangladeshi factory
Cultural and economic constraints create obstacles                                    supplying Walmart, Carrefour, and Lidl
to women workers speaking out about their condi-
tions and joining a trade union. A woman at a Lidl and
Walmart supplier in Bangladesh, which employs only
women on the factory floor, told us:

“Women can be made to dance like puppets, but men
cannot be tortured in the same way. The owners do
not care if we ask for something, but demands raised                                women are already working longer and harder at
by the men must be given some consideration. So                                     home. Even though they work until late at night, these
they do not employ male workers.” 223                                               women return home to yet more domestic responsi-
                                                                                    bilities. “I feel so exhausted and emptied that I do not
The push factors that place women in need of a job                                  even feel like taking food”, said one woman in a Bang-
and with fewer choices than elsewhere mean they are                                 ladeshi factory supplying Tesco and Walmart.226 This
more at risk of reprisals for speaking out. Because                                 state of affairs leads to exhaustion and injuries from
they have dependents to care for, more is at stake, so                              stress and overwork, depression and other illnesses
threats of dismissal or violence have a greater impact                              as a result of lowered immune systems, and longer
than they may do on male workers. Cultural factors                                  recovery time from injury or illness.
may create a barrier to women speaking openly when
they have a complaint, especially to male supervisors,                              The long hours we found in garment factories are
and domestic and reproductive responsibilities reduce                               tough enough as it is, but when women become
their time available for participation in trade union                               pregnant, they become a much more serious abuse.
activities.                                                                         In most of the ten factories we visited in Bangladesh,
                                                                                    we found cases of heavily pregnant women forced to
“This factory has mainly women workers, so we can                                   work the same hours as everyone else – including late
not call strikes,” said one woman at a Lidl and Wal-                                evening shifts and even night shifts in some cases –
mart supplier in Bangladesh.224 “If there is a dispute                              right up until they went on maternity leave. In four, this
with management, they give us early leave,” said an-                                seemed to be standard practice, while in several oth-
other. “Because there are no male workers we cannot                                 ers, although most women said they had been given
do anything.”225                                                                    easier tasks and permitted to leave early, some had
                                                                                    not. In one, it depended on being in the management’s
Labour rights abuses have a bigger impact                                           ‘good books’.227

In combination with the gender discrimination present                               “If the factory works until 10, the pregnant workers
throughout societies in garment-producing countries,                                have to work until that time as well,” said one woman
wage discrimination means that women working in                                     at a Walmart, Carrefour and Lidl supplier. 228 Workers
garments are more likely to be malnourished and to                                  in another factory supplying Carrefour in Bangladesh
lack decent housing or access to health care, and                                   explained how pregnant workers were expected to
community services such as clean water and sanita-                                  continue working the10-hour days and overtime shifts:
tion.                                                                               “I worked just like the others”, says Sarmin. “Only
                                                                                    when suffering becomes unbearable and one cannot
Compounded with the mouths that many need to                                        stop crying does [a pregnant woman] get leave”, ex-
feed, lower wages force women to work longer and                                    plains Buna. “But if the workload is heavy no amount
harder in the factory to make ends meet. Yet many                                   of crying would help.”229




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                          55
All but two of the ten Bangladeshi factories – Aldi,
Lidl and Walmart suppliers – provided paid maternity
                                                                     Gender-based
                                                                     harassment in
leave. In one Lidl and Walmart supplier, with an all
female workforce, workers stated clearly that the only
way to have a baby is to leave the factory perma-
nently.230
                                                                     factories is an
                                                                     effective tool to
For women garment workers with children, economic
reality requires them to leave their children with friends
and relatives for up to twelve hours a day while they
work or, worse, to leave children with relatives in their
home villages, seeing them only a few times a year.
                                                                     keep workers afraid
                                                                     and submissive.
One account from a Sri Lankan worker producing for
Tesco sums up the predicament:

“I leave home at six in the morning and come back
home at nine in the evening... I leave when my daugh-
ter is still in her dreams and come back home to see
her gone to sleep. She sees my face only one day of
the week. [...] I am not left with time to fulfil my obliga-
tions as a housewife... I cannot take leave from work
as I wish when my child or parents fall sick. I have had
to live sacrificing everything for the meagre pay I get              practices is no different. Pervasive gender discrimina-
at the end of the month. [My husband] does not like                  tion means that women are already more vulnerable
my coming home late. Nevertheless we cannot refuse                   to the impacts of the squeeze from poor purchasing
to work overtime and expect to go to work again. We                  practices. Discrimination within the factory means that
have to work in order to cover the targets.” 231                     they are earning less to start with, and that they bear
                                                                     the brunt of supervisors’ abuse in the tense atmos-
At face value, all but two of the Bangladeshi factories              phere created by time and cost pressure. The nature
(those two were also supplying Aldi, Lidl and Walmart)               of that abuse – sexual harassment or physical violence
had a room that acted as a childcare centre, to allow                – is itself shaped by gendered biases.
workers with young children to come back to work.
But workers explained that in half of those with child-              Women have more responsibilities to fulfil outside of
care centres, supplying all five of the Giants between               the workplace, and so less capacity to absorb low
them, these rooms were only used when the factories                  wages, longer hours, and greater uncertainty in work-
were visited by buyers or auditors. At one, the room                 ing practices. The impact extends beyond them to
was used the rest of the time by managers as a can-                  children, elderly relatives, and other dependents. They
teen.232 At another, workers explained that they were                are under more pressure to keep their jobs, and less
instructed to bring in children on certain days to show              able to resist the difficult changes forced upon them,
the auditors that the factory had a working daycare                  especially without the support of a trade union.
centre.233
                                                                     Giant retailers did not create the gender discrimination
                                                                     inherent in these societies. But purchasing practices
Conclusion: Squeezed the                                             that increase pressure on suppliers rely on women
hardest                                                              workers’ disempowered, disadvantaged position to
                                                                     ensure that these workers continue to subsidise the
                                                                     giant retailers’ profits. Worse, the impact of those pur-
Gender discrimination runs deep through the societies                chasing practices on patterns and terms of employ-
of all countries in which garments are produced. When                ment serves to further entrench that disadvantage.
societies experience a crunch, women and girls usu-                  Far from lifting women out of poverty, the Giants are
ally feel the pain more than men. Girls are given less to            cashing in on it.
eat than their brothers and taken out of school sooner.
Women are the first to take on the financial responsi-
bility when their families cannot make ends meet, and
yet they are the first to find their potential sources of
income narrowing.

Examining workers’ rights abuses through a gender
lens shows that the crunch created by purchasing




56                                                 Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
57
Chapter 9

Recommendations

The Clean Clothes Campaign has prepared a set of detailed recommendations
for the public and private actors with responsibility for the issues outlined in
this report. This chapter incorporates input from the CCC’s extensive network,
including countries where garments are produced.




The recommendations do not form an exhaustive pro-                                  The code should be implemented. Effective monitoring
gramme of work for companies and governments, but                                   and verification is a necessary – though not sufficient –
rather they highlight some of the most important areas                              part of any company’s steps to ensure that its code is
in which action is needed.                                                          implemented. Keeping a close watch over the imple-
                                                                                    mentation of and compliance with such standards has
There are three groups of actors. The first section                                 come to be known as monitoring, the results of which
refers to all companies concerned with garment pro-                                 need to be verified.
duction, including brands, retailers, agents, suppliers,
and subcontractors. All are responsible for working                                 Because the essence of verification is credibility, it
conditions in the supply chain. The second singles                                  must be performed by organisations or individuals
out the giant retailers specifically, giving recommen-                              that are independent, financially and otherwise, of
dations that relate to the areas highlighted in this                                the company or organisation whose claims are being
report. Finally, the third section describes some of the                            verified, and of other commercial actors in garment
responsibilities of governments, including those in the                             industry supply chains.
countries in which garments are made, in those where
giant retailers have their headquarters, and countries                              In the development of these systems, companies
where the giant retailers sell clothes.                                             should engage directly with trade unions and NGOs,
                                                                                    for example through a multi-stakeholder initiative
                                                                                    (MSI). For such systems to be credible, these organi-
1 Actions for all companies in                                                      sations should be represented at all decision making
  the garment supply chain                                                          levels up to the very highest.

                                                                                    CCC has set out its view of how implementation,
Implementing labour standards                                                       monitoring and verification should take place in a
                                                                                    multi-stakeholder context elsewhere, including in its
Companies should adopt a code of conduct with                                       model code of conduct and its ‘Full Package Ap-
labour standards equivalent to or higher than those set                             proach’ publication.235
out in the CCC code of conduct.234 The code should
apply to all workers, including those in retail, distribu-
tion and manufacture, down to the last subcontracting                               2a Actions for the giant retailers
factory or homeworker. It should cover all workplaces                                  in key areas of concern
regardless of whether there is a direct purchasing rela-
tionship, or whether it is mediated by an agent.
                                                                                    Within the framework set above, giant retailers should
The Code of Conduct should be comprehensive, cred-                                  take specific steps to ensure more credible and effec-
ible and accessible to workers and the general public;                              tive implementation of all standards throughout their
this includes publication on the company’s website                                  supply chains.
and in factories in the local language and in pictures
for the illiterate.




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                                                         59
With respect to labour standards, they should pay                  2. Undertaking an independent review of prices paid
particular attention to freedom of association, the right             to suppliers to determine whether these prices are
to a living wage and security of employment.                          sufficient to allow compliance with international
                                                                      labour standards, including an expected wage for
Promoting access to freedom of association                            workers that meets their basic needs. This review
                                                                      should take into account the cost of any work
Proactive and identifiable measures should be taken                   undertaken by homeworkers (such as embroidery)
to ensure that all workers have the right to form and                 and the wages homeworkers receive.
join trade unions of their own choosing and to engage
in bona fide collective bargaining with their employers.           3. Facilitating the establishment of negotiating struc-
These should include but not be limited to:                           tures to enable factory managements and trade
                                                                      unions to consolidate the living wage into the ex-
1. Guidance on what is expected from suppliers                        isting pay structures of those factories. Again, this
   concerning compliance with these standards and                     should include the rates paid to homeworkers.
   what constitutes appropriate consultative and
   representative mechanisms. Such guidance should                 4. On a confidential basis, providing information re-
   be consistent with the meaning of Freedom of As-                   garding the unit price the buyer is paying for goods
   sociation developed through ILO procedures.                        to workers’ representatives engaged in collective
                                                                      bargaining with suppliers.
2. Regular review of policies of suppliers regarding
   hiring, firing disciplinary actions, and grievances.            Advocating and/or support advocacy towards national
                                                                   governments for increases in the minimum wage con-
3. Support for and facilitation of training of man-                sistent with ILO Convention. 236
   agement, workers and workers’ representatives
   (separately and jointly) in freedom of association,             Security of employment
   collective bargaining and labour-management rela-
   tions. Such training should be delivered by trade               Workers undertaking a factory’s core work should
   unions or credible labour rights organisations. It              have the right to security of employment. The use of
   should take into account the gendered nature of                 precarious forms of employment such as short-term
   the workforce in this industry. Buyers and retailers            contracts, day workers, and third party agencies can
   should ensure the full commitment of suppliers to               only be justified for work that is clearly exceptional or
   these initiatives.                                              outside of the ordinary day-to-day work of the factory.

Some workplaces are located in countries or areas                  Fixed duration contracts should not be used to under-
where trade unions are banned or where the state has               cut the legal rights and benefits to which permanent
given a monopoly to a government-controlled labour                 employees are entitled.
organisation, and where genuinely independent trade
unions are prohibited. In such places, identifiable                This means that:
measures promoting genuine freedom of association
should still be taken, including open communication                1. Any use of fixed duration contracts should be in
about this policy towards the governments concerned,                  response to a clearly defined plan justifying their
and engaging the workers collectively and to facilitate               use.
their self-organisation in ways that are consistent with
the principles of freedom of association and respect               2. All fixed duration contracts should provide at least
for human rights.                                                     the same salary and benefits accorded to perma-
                                                                      nent workers performing the same work.
Paying a living wage
                                                                   3. A short-term employee should have the automatic
The giant retailers should incorporate a living wage                  right to permanent employment if employed by the
standard in their codes of conduct. Concrete action                   same employer for two years, or upon entering into
should be taken to implement that standard within                     a third contract with the same employer after two
a regular working week for all workers in the supply                  fixed-term contracts.
chain. Such action should include but not be limited
to:                                                                4. Labour-only contracting arrangements or false ap-
                                                                      prenticeship schemes should not be used to avoid
1. Working with local trade unions and labour rights                  fulfilling obligations to workers.
   groups to develop a ‘ladder’ of wage standards for
   employers to work up through, including a living                5. All fixed duration workers should have the right to
   wage figure for workers in each country or region.                 join the trade union of their choice, including any




60                                               Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
    union organising permanent workers at the factory                               Purchasing practices
    in which they work.
                                                                                    Retailers should acknowledge that their purchasing
Steps should be taken to ensure that other precari-                                 practices can be a significant obstacle to achieving
ous forms of employment such as homeworking are                                     decent working conditions in garment supply chains.
recognised and fully covered by codes of conduct and                                Purchasing practices should enable and not inhibit
monitoring and verification systems. Homeworkers                                    suppliers to be decent employers. In order to ensure
should have proper contracts that allow them to prove                               that this is the case, retailers must:
their status as workers. They should have access to
the same social security benefits to which factory                                  Assess
workers are entitled.                                                               As an integral part of code implementation, retailers
                                                                                    should determine the positive and negative impacts
Gender equality                                                                     of their purchasing practices on the working condi-
                                                                                    tions, and on efforts to improve compliance. Attention
Steps should be taken to eliminate abuse of and                                     should be paid to the impact on more susceptible
discrimination against women, especially regarding                                  groups of workers, including women, migrants, con-
gender differences in payment, training and promo-                                  tract workers and homeworkers.
tion. Steps should also be taken to address gendered
concerns in the implementation of labour standards,                                 Remediate
including in relation to the action points outlined below                           Develop and implement a plan to reform or eliminate
(2b).                                                                               those purchasing practices that have a negative im-
                                                                                    pact – and promote those that have a positive impact
                                                                                    - on working conditions and on efforts to improve
2b Actions for giant retailers                                                      compliance.
   concerning the implemen-
                                                                                    Communicate
   tation of labour standards                                                       Disclose the outcomes of the impact assessment,
                                                                                    the contents of the remediation plan, and progress
Traceability and transparency                                                       towards implementing it to workers throughout the
                                                                                    supply chain, their representatives, and the public.
Companies should:
                                                                                    Responsible retailing practices
1. Map and investigate supply chains and develop
   mechanisms to ensure that they know where work                                   The giant retailers’ responsibilities with regard to
   is performed throughout their supply chains, by                                  labour rights do not stop with the implementation of
   whom and under what circumstances.                                               decent labour standards for garment workers. The
                                                                                    rights of workers in retail and distribution are just as
2. Be transparent about the composition of and con-                                 important as those of workers further down the supply
   ditions in the supply chain, including disclosure of:                            chain. Furthermore, decisions that giant retailers make
   •	 workplace locations                                                           with regard to selling practices in the retail market
   •	 findings of workplace investigations or social                                can increase price pressure on their competitors, and
       audits                                                                       therefore have an impact on workers in other retail-
   •	 remediation plans and corrective action taken.                                ers’ supply chains. Therefore it is important that the
                                                                                    Giants:
Priority should be placed on ensuring feedback to the
workers themselves.                                                                 Implement decent labour standards for workers in
                                                                                    retail and distribution
No cut and run                                                                      Retailers must apply their code to all workers, includ-
                                                                                    ing retail, distribution and franchise store workers,
Where violations are found at existing suppliers, retail-                           taking into account the predominantly female nature of
ers should not ‘cut and run’, but instead work with                                 the retail workforce.
these suppliers, trade unions, and other local labour
rights organisations to improve conditions.                                         Set and advertise retail prices in a responsible
                                                                                    manner
In general, retailers should always give adequate no-                               Giant retailers’ large buying power, market share, and
tice when ending relationships with suppliers, ensur-                               dominance in a range of retail segments give them an
ing that full severance charges and other benefits are                              unfair advantage and allow them to manipulate pric-
provided, and supporting retraining and provision of                                ing, for example by selling certain products at below-
alternative employment opportunities.                                               cost retail prices. Combined with aggressive, price-led




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                           61
advertising, this also creates consumer expectations              Trade and investment agreements
of unsustainably low prices. These practices force
other retailers to cut prices in response, fuelling the           All governments should retain a right to regulate
‘race to the bottom’ in both retail and supply markets.           investments that do not contribute to the goals of
In doing so, they can reinforce the impact of purchas-            sustainable development and decent work, and do not
ing practices, creating another obstacle to improved              respect fundamental rights. The responsibility is on
working conditions.                                               both sides:

                                                                  Countries hosting foreign direct investment (FDI)
3 Governments                                                     Governments should not make concessions to foreign
                                                                  direct investors that allow them to take advantage of
All governments should pass and implement legisla-                trade and investment regulations and incentives with-
tion to safeguard all workers’ rights. Regulation should          out having a positive effect on the country’s economy
take account of the need to address specific gendered             and social conditions, and in particular they should not
issues.                                                           compromise existing labour law as described above.

Labour legislation                                                Home countries of foreign direct investors and gi-
                                                                  ant retailers
All governments should:                                           First, trade and investment agreements with host
                                                                  countries of garment production should leave room
1. Ratify (where they are not ratified), pass legisla-            for these countries to regulate their investment and
   tion to implement, and enforce compliance with all             labour markets, and enforce existing labour law, in the
   relevant ILO Conventions.233                                   manner described above. Second, they should include
                                                                  mechanisms to hold all actors in the supply chain
2. Ensure that national labour legislation upholds                – those based in the home country as well as the
   internationally-recognised standards. Emphasis                 host – to account in their home countries for actions
   should be placed on a robust legal framework for               that undermine respect for internationally-recognised
   trade union rights, on setting minimum wages that              workers’ rights or national labour laws throughout the
   are living wages, and on ensuring that precarious              supply chain.
   forms of employment are not used to undercut
   the legal rights and benefits to which permanent               Retailer accountability
   employees are entitled.
                                                                  All governments, including the European Union in-
3. Effectively implement and enforce national labour              stitutions, should put in place a legal framework that
   legislation, among others by allocating enough                 holds companies, including giant retailers, to account
   resources and instruments to labour inspectors.                for workers’ rights violations throughout their supply
                                                                  chains, and gives workers a legal right of redress. This
4. Promote respect for workers’ rights through inter-             legal mechanism should exist both in countries where
   national organisations such as the International               the products concerned are sold and in the country
   Labour Organisation, including the ILO’s Decent                where the company is headquartered.
   Work Agenda, as well as other relevant UN bodies
   and intergovernmental organisations.                           This should mean that:

5. Promote a role for the ILO in making the imple-                1. accountability extends throughout the supply
   mentation of codes of labour practice more effec-                 chain, including extra-territorially and to workers at
   tive.                                                             suppliers and subcontractors;

6. Legislate against corruption and lobbying that can             2. all workers in the supply chain have a legal right of
   lead to the undermining of national and interna-                  redress, and home country governments have the
   tional labour standards.                                          capacity to apply sanctions for violations of labour
                                                                     rights occurring anywhere in giant retailers’ supply
                                                                     chains (without prejudice to host countries’ ability
                                                                     to apply sanctions for violations occurring in on
                                                                     their own soil);

                                                                  3. market forces do not continue to drive down work-
                                                                     ing conditions below internationally-recognised
                                                                     standards;




62                                              Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
4. such companies do not exploit their buyer power
   to the extent that fundamental labour rights are
   compromised.

Governments should assess whether existing regula-
tory frameworks such as competition and contract
law could be used, strengthened, and adapted to
ensure the above. Where existing mechanisms are
insufficient, they should put in place a new regulatory
framework to deliver it, with effective implementation.




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry   63
                                                                                                   Flaws in Giant Retailers’ Codes of Conduct
                                                                                                   Standard        Jo-In [For comparison          Tesco/Asda (ETI)            Walmart                       Carrefour                     Lidl/Aldi (BSCI)
                                                                                                                   purposes; current best
                                                                                                                   standard in sector]

                                                                                                   Working hours   The company shall              Working hours comply        Suppliers shall maintain      Guarantee workers’            The supplier company
                                                                                                                   comply with applicable         with national laws and      reasonable employee           working conditions            shall comply with ap-
                                                                                                                   laws and industry stand-       benchmark industry          work hours in compli-         particularly with regard to   plicable national laws and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Annex

                                                                                                                   ards on working hours,         standards, whichever af-    ance with local standards     the duration of working       industry standards on
                                                                                                                   whichever offers greater       fords greater protection.   and applicable laws of        hours, enabling us to         working hours. The maxi-
                                                                                                                   protection.                                                the jurisdictions in which    ensure their health, their    mum allowable working
                                                                                                                                                  In any event, workers       the suppliers are doing       safety and their moral        hours in a week are as
                                                                                                                   The regular workweek           shall not on a regular      business. Suppliers’          integrity.                    defined by national law
                                                                                                                   shall be as defined by law     basis be required to work   employees shall not work                                    but shall not on a regular
                                                                                                                   but shall not exceed 48        in excess of 48 hours       more than 72 hours per                                      basis exceed 48 hours
                                                                                                                   hours.                         per week and shall be       6 days or work more than                                    and the maximum allow-
                                                                                                                                                  provided with at least      a maximum total working                                     able overtime hours in a
                                                                                                                   Workers shall be provided      one day off for every 7     hours of 14 hours per                                       week shall not exceed 12
                                                                                                                   with at least one day off      day period on average.      a continuous 24 hour                                        hours.
                                                                                                                   after each six consecu-        Overtime shall be vol-      period.
                                                                                                                   tive days of work, as well     untary, shall not exceed                                                                Overtime hours are to
                                                                                                                   as public and annual           12 hours per week, shall    Supplier’s factories                                        be worked solely on a
                                                                                                                   holidays. All overtime         not be demanded on a        should be working toward                                    voluntary basis and to be
                                                                                                                   work shall be voluntary,       regular basis and shall     achieving a 60-hour                                         paid at a premium rate.




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                                   shall not be demanded          always be compensated       workweek. Walmart will                                      An employee is entitled
                                                                                                                   on a regular basis, shall      at a premium rate.          not use suppliers who,                                      to at least one free day
                                                                                                                   be reimbursed at least                                     on a regularly scheduled                                    following six consecutive
                                                                                                                   at such a premium rate                                     basis, require employees                                    days worked.
                                                                                                                   as required by law and                                     to work in excess of the
                                                                                                                   under no circumstances                                     statutory requirements
                                                                                                                   shall exceed 12 hours                                      without proper compen-
                                                                                                                   per employee per week.                                     sation as required by ap-
                                                                                                                                                                              plicable law. Employees
                                                                                                                   In those countries where                                   should be permitted
                                                                                                                   a premium rate for                                         reasonable days off (at
                                                                                                                   overtime is not legally                                    least one day off for every
                                                                                                                   required, workers shall                                    seven-day period) and
                                                                                                                   be compensated for                                         leave privileges.
                                                                                                                   overtime at a premium
                                                                                                                   rate at least one and one
                                                                                                                   half of their regular hourly
                                                                                                                   compensation rate.




65
                                                                                                   Standard   Jo-In [For comparison purposes;      Tesco/Asda (ETI)                     Walmart                              Carrefour                            Lidl/Aldi (BSCI)




66
                                                                                                              current best standard in sector]

                                                                                                   Wages      Workers shall have the right to a    Wages and benefits paid for a        Suppliers shall fairly compensate    Grant workers remuneration           Wages paid for regular work-
                                                                                                              living wage. Wages and benefits      standard working week meet,          their employees by providing         which satisfies their fundamen-      ing hours, overtime hours and
                                                                                                              paid for a standard working          at a minimum, national legal         wages and benefits which are in      tal needs and those of the           overtime differentials shall meet
                                                                                                              week shall, as a floor, always       standards or industry benchmark      compliance with the local and        members of their family who          or exceed legal minimums and/
                                                                                                              comply with all applicable laws,     standards, whichever is higher. In   national laws and regulations        are directly dependent on them,      or industry standards. Illegal,
                                                                                                              regulations and industry minimum     any event wages should always        of the jurisdictions in which the    including food, clothing and suf-    unauthorised or disciplinary
                                                                                                              standards and shall be sufficient    be enough to meet basic needs        suppliers are doing business,        ficient housing. This remuneration   deductions from wages shall not
                                                                                                              to meet basic needs of workers       and to provide some discretion-      or which are consistent with the     must, at least, correspond to the    be made.
                                                                                                              and their families and provide       ary income.                          prevailing local standards in the    minimum wage fixed by the legis-
                                                                                                              some discretionary income.                                                countries, if the prevailing local   lation of the country in question.   In situations in which the legal
                                                                                                                                                   All workers shall be provided        standards are higher.                                                     minimum wage and/or industry
                                                                                                              The level of wages and benefits      with written and understandable                                                                                standards do not cover living
                                                                                                              will be reviewed on a regular        Information about their employ-                                                                                expenses and provide some addi-
                                                                                                              basis. Freedom of collective         ment conditions in respect to                                                                                  tional disposable income, supplier
                                                                                                              bargaining will be respected.        wages before they enter employ-                                                                                companies are further encour-
                                                                                                                                                   ment and about the particulars                                                                                 aged to provide their employees
                                                                                                              Deductions from wages shall          of their wages for the pay period                                                                              with adequate compensation to
                                                                                                              not be made for disciplinary pur-    concerned each time that they                                                                                  meet these needs.
                                                                                                              poses, nor shall any deductions      are paid.
                                                                                                              not provided for by national law                                                                                                                    Deductions from wages as a dis-
                                                                                                              be permitted without the express     Deductions from wages as a                                                                                     ciplinary measure are forbidden.
                                                                                                              written permission of the worker     disciplinary measure shall not be                                                                              Supplier companies shall ensure
                                                                                                              concerned.                           permitted nor shall any deduc-                                                                                 that wage and benefits composi-
                                                                                                                                                   tions from wages not provided                                                                                  tion are detailed clearly and
                                                                                                              All workers shall be provided        for by national law be permitted                                                                               regularly for workers; the supplier
                                                                                                              with written and understandable      without the expressed permis-                                                                                  company shall also ensure that
                                                                                                              information about their employ-      sion of the worker concerned. All                                                                              wages and benefits are rendered
                                                                                                              ment conditions, including wages     disciplinary measures should be                                                                                in full compliance with all applica-
                                                                                                              and benefits, before entering        recorded.                                                                                                      ble laws and that remuneration is
                                                                                                              employment. The particulars of                                                                                                                      rendered in a manner convenient
                                                                                                              their wages shall be provided to                                                                                                                    to workers.
                                                                                                              the workers concerned for the
                                                                                                              whole pay period each time they
                                                                                                              are paid.

                                                                                                              Remuneration shall be rendered
                                                                                                              either in cash or check form, in a
                                                                                                              manner convenient to workers.

                                                                                                              Wages and other benefits shall
                                                                                                              be paid on a regular and timely
                                                                                                              basis.




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                   Standard             Jo-In [For comparison purposes;        Tesco/Asda (ETI)                     Walmart                                Carrefour                             Lidl/Aldi (BSCI)
                                                                                                                        current best standard in sector]

                                                                                                   Trade Union Rights   The right of all workers to form or    Workers, without distinction, have   Suppliers will respect the rights of   Ensure workers have the right to      The right of all personnel to form
                                                                                                                        join trade unions of their choice      the right to join or form trade      employees regarding their deci-        organise themselves freely into       and join trade unions of their
                                                                                                                        and to bargain collectively shall      unions of their own choosing and     sion of whether to associate or        unions and be presented by            choice and to bargain collectively
                                                                                                                        be recognised and respected.           to bargain collectively.             not to associate with any group,       organisations of their choice so as   shall be respected. In situations
                                                                                                                        The company shall recognise                                                 as long as such groups are legal       to carry out collective bargaining    or countries in which the rights
                                                                                                                        the trade union(s) of the workers’     The employer adopts an open          in their own country.                                                        regarding freedom of associa-
                                                                                                                        choice. The company shall adopt        attitude towards the activities of                                                                                tion and collective bargaining are
                                                                                                                        a positive approach towards the        trade unions and their organisa-     Suppliers must not interfere with,                                           restricted by law, parallel means
                                                                                                                        activities of trade unions and an      tional activities.                   obstruct or prevent such legiti-                                             of independent and free or-
                                                                                                                        open attitude towards the organi-                                           mate activities                                                              ganisation and bargaining shall be
                                                                                                                        sational activities of workers.        Workers representatives are                                                                                       facilitated for all personnel. It shall
                                                                                                                                                               not discriminated against and                                                                                     be ensured that representatives
                                                                                                                        No worker, or prospective worker,      have access to carry out their                                                                                    of personnel have access to their
                                                                                                                        shall be subject to dismissal,         representative functions in the                                                                                   members in the workplace.
                                                                                                                        discrimination, harassment, in-        workplace.
                                                                                                                        timidation or retaliation for reason
                                                                                                                        of union membership or participa-      Where the right to freedom of as-
                                                                                                                        tion in trade union activities.        sociation and collective bargain-
                                                                                                                                                               ing is restricted under law, the
                                                                                                                        The company shall ensure that          employer facilitates, and does not
                                                                                                                        workers’ representatives have          hinder, the development of paral-
                                                                                                                        free access to all workplaces          lel means for independent and
                                                                                                                        to carry out their representation      free association and bargaining
                                                                                                                        functions and shall not, without




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                                        justification, impede access for
                                                                                                                        union organisers to employees.




67
Endnotes

1     All monetary amounts in this report are reported in euros. Where                     Available at: www.carrefour.com/docroot/groupe/C4com/Com-
      we have converted the original currencies into euros this was                        merce%20responsable/Publications/CarrefourLeaflet2006GB.
      done using the Co Currency.com website, which provides                               pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      historical exchange rates.
      Available at http://www.gocurrency.com/v2/historic-exchange-                  9      Wallop, H. 2007. £1 in every seven now spent in Tesco.
      rates.php?ccode2=EUR&ccode=USD&frMonth=11&frDay=17&                                  Telegraph. [Online] 16 April.
      frYear=2008.                                                                         Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/
      For dollar-euro conversions calculated during the period 2003-                       1548742/andpound1-in-every-seven-now-spent-in-Tesco.html
      2007 we made use of the CIA’s World Factbook.                                        (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      Available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-
      factbook/fields/2076.html.                                                    10     Leahy, T. 2008. Tesco chief: ‘We must go green’. The Guardian.
                                                                                           [Online] 3 September.
2     Bharat Book Bureau. 2007. Opportunities in Brazil Retail Sector                      Available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/
      (2007-2011). [Online]                                                                sep/03/corporatesocialresponsibility.carbonfootprints
      Available at: http://www.bharatbook.com/detail.asp?id=53013                          (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                    11     Rigby, E. & J. O’Doherty. 2008. Discounters lure UK shoppers.
3     Reardon T. & A. Gulati. 2008. The Supermarket Revolution                             Financial Times. [Online] 10 October.
      in Developing Countries. International Food Policy Research                          Available at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/415cf902-9623-11dd-
      Institute. [Online]                                                                  9dce-000077b07658.html (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      Available at: http://www.ifpri.org/pubs/bp/bp002.asp#read
      (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                    12     Aldi. 2008. Company Fact Sheet. [Online]
                                                                                           Available at: http://aldi.us/us/html/company/5565_ENU_HTML.
4     Gale, F. & T. Reardon. 2005. China’s supermarkets present                            htm (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      export opportunity. Asia Times Online, [Online] 24 June.
      Available at: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/GF24Ad02.                    13     Euromonitor Global Market information Database,
      html (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                      http://www.euromonitor.com/gmid/


5     Research and Markets. 2008. China: Supermarkets and Hyper-                    14     Wick, I. 2007. Aldi ‘s Clothing Bargains – Discount buys
      markets Development in China. [Online]                                               discounting standards? SÜDWIND Institut für Ökonomie und
      Available at: http://www.researchandmarkets.com/reports/                             Ökumene. [Online]
      601190 (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                    Available at: www.suedwind-institut.de/downloads/ALDI-publ_
                                                                                           engl_2007-08.pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)
6     For example, one US survey concluded that women shopping
      alone constitute 60% of grocery shoppers, compared to men                     15     Walmart. 2006. Message from Lee Scott. [Online]
      shopping alone 18% and couples 22%. Ryan, T. Targeting Male                          Available at: http://Walmartfacts.com/reports/2006/
      Grocery Shoppers. RetailWire. [Online]                                               ethical_standards/letter.html (Accessed 6 December 2008).
      Available at: http://www.retailwire.com/Discussions/Sngl_
      Discussion.cfm/12220 (Accessed 6 December 2008)                               16     Quoted in Hird, V. & H. Burley. 2005. The Tesco Takeover.
                                                                                           Friends of the Earth. [Online]
7     Mamou, Y. 2008. Wal-Mart ignore la crise, et compte même en                          Available at: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/marketing_material/
      tirer profit. Le Monde. [Online] 25 November.                                        tesco_takeover_leaflet.pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      Available at: http://www.lemonde.fr/la-crise-financiere/article/
      2008/11/25/wal-mart-ignore-la-crise-et-compte-meme-en-tirer-                  17     The five companies highlighted in this report -- Aldi, Carrefour,
      profit_1122864_1101386.html                                                          Lidl, Tesco, and Walmart -- were sent a draft version of the
      (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                           report before its release and given the opportunity to submit
                                                                                           factual corrections.
8     Carrefour Group. 2006. Carrefour Group and Sustainable Devel-
      opment: Our responses to 6 major issues. [Online]




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
                                                                                                                                                          69
18   Market shares: M&S 9.1%, Asda 9.4%, Tesco 6.5%,                                   content/03_40/b3852001_mz001.htm
     Sainsbury’s 2% (estimates). Taken from Thornton, P. 2004.                         (Accessed 6 December 2008)
     By George, M&S loses its clothing sales crown to Asda.
     The Independent, [Online] 23 August.                                       30     Wick, I. 2007. op.cit.
     Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/
     news/by-george-mamps-loses-its-clothing-sales-crown-to-                    31     Bianco, A. & W. Zellner. 2003. op.cit.
     asda-557524.html (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                32     http://www.marketresearchworld.net/index2.php?option=com_
19   Wick, I. 2007. op.cit.                                                            content&do_pdf=1&id=607


20   Crabbé, C. & N. Leroy. 2007. Profil Carrefour.                             33     Source: Lists provided on giant retailers’ websites.
     Campagne Vêtements Propres. Document on file.                                     Accessed 6 December 2008


21   All figures taken from most recent Annual Income Statement                 34     See, for example, Dickinson, M. 2008. Tesco buys S. Korea
     Available on corporate websites as of 6 December 2008, except                     hypermarkets in £958m deal. The Independent, [Online] 14 May.
     for Aldi and Lidl, taken from Top 150 Händler Welt 2007.                          Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/
     Lebensmittel Zeitung. 2008. [Online]                                              news/tesco-buys-s-korea-hypermarkets-in-pound958m-
     Available at http://www.lz-net.de/rankings/handelwelt/pages/                      deal-827849.html (Accessed 6 December 2008)
     show.prl?id=272 (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                35     Lin, J. 2005. Carrefour-Tesco deal moves forward. Taipei Times,
22   Company figures as before. Gross Domestic Product (GDP)                           [Online] 21 November.
     figures taken from The World Factbook. Central Intelligence                       Available at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/
     Agency. [Online].                                                                 archives/2005/11/21/2003281133 (Accessed 6 December 2008)
     Available at https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-
     factbook/fields/2195.html (Accessed 6 December 2008)                       36     US$ 9 billion: Chaney, J. 2008. Wal-Mart upbeat on Asia drive
                                                                                       amid US Woes. Reuters, [Online] 3 September.
23   Kuipers, P. 2004. Lidl: Darwinian Discount. Elsevier Food Inter-                  Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUS-
     national, [Online]. 7 (1)                                                         PAT33296420080903 (Accessed 6 December 2008)
     Available at: http://www.foodinternational.net/articles/retail-
     profile/72/lidl-darwinian-discount.html (Reed Business)                           US$ 3 billion: Jianguo, J. & S. Shen. 2007. Sales soar for
     (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                        Wal-Mart and Carrefour in China. International Herald Tribune,
                                                                                       [Online] 27 March.
24   £ 15 and £ 6. Rankine, K. 2003. Piggybacking the elephant in                      Available at: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/03/27/
     £ 6 jeans. The Telegraph, [Online]. 14 January.                                   bloomberg/sxchisales.php (Accessed 6 December 2008)
     Available at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2839535/
     Piggybacking-the-elephant-in-andpound6-jeans.html                          37     Chandler, C. 2005. The great Wal-Mart of China. Fortune, [On-
     (Accessed 6 December 2008).                                                       line] 25 July.
                                                                                       Available at: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_
25   £ 3. Asda. 2008. Value Jean.                                                      archive/2005/07/25/8266651/index.htm
     [Online] Available at: http://direct.asda.com/Value-Jean/                         (Accessed 6 December 2008)
     GEM2633,default,pd.html (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                38     This section is based on information from
26   Vorley, B (2007). Cited in Alam, K. et al. 2008. Who pays for our                 http://www.tescopoly.org
     clothing from Lidl and Kik? Clean Clothes Campaign.
     [Online] Available at: http://www.sauberekleidung.de/down-                 39     UNI Commerce. 2007. Unions Accuse Lidl of Serious Rights
     loads/publikationen/2008-01_Brosch-Lidl-KiK_en.pdf                                Violations in Several European Countries. [Online]
     (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                        Available at: http://www.union-network.org/UNISITE/Sectors/
                                                                                       Commerce/Multinationals/Lidl_unions_in_Europe_accuse_of_
27   31.5%, Nesbitt, L. 2008. Discounters Aldi, Lidl Gain UK Grocery                   rights_violations.htm (Accessed 6 December 2008)
     Market Share (Update1). Bloomberg, [Online] 16 September.
     Available at: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=2060                  40     Friends of the Earth. 2006. Paying for Tesco’s Profits. Press
     1102&sid=aGsq4JcETKFo&refer=uk                                                    briefing. [Online]
     (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                        Available at: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/
                                                                                       paying_for_tescos_profits_24042006.html
28   Crabbé, C. & N. Leroy. 2007. op.cit.                                              (Accessed 6 December 2008);


29   Bianco, A. & W. Zellner. 2003. Is Wal-Mart too powerful?                          Friends of the Earth. 2006. Tesco the new green chameleon.
     Business Week, [Online] 6 October                                                 [Online]
     Available at: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/                               Available at: http://foe.co.uk/resource/press_releases/tesco_




70                                                            Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
      the_new_green_chamel_25042006.html                                            51     Joint Initiative on Corporate Accountability and Workers’ Rights.
      (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                           2006. Jo-In Draft Common Code 5.05. [Online]
                                                                                           Available at: http://www.jo-in.org/pub/docs/Jo-In%20Draft%20
41    Carrell, S. 2003. Tesco admits selling banned hardwoods.                             Common%20Code%205.05.pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      The Independent, [Online] 13 July.
      Available at: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/tesco-                 52     Barrientos, S & S. Smith. 2006. The ETI Code of Labour Prac-
      admits-selling-banned-hardwoods-586670.html                                          tice: Do workers really benefit? Brighton: Institute of Develop-
      (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                           ment Studies


42    Mitchell, S. Keep Your Eyes on the Size: The impossibility of a               53     Social Accountability International. Supporting Level. [Online]
      green Wal-Mart. [Online]                                                             Available at: http://www.sa-intl.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.
      Available at: http://www.grist.org/comments/soap-                                    viewPage&pageId=558&parentID=747&grandparentID=4&nodeI
      box/2007/03/28/mitchell/ (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                  D=1 (Accessed 6 December 2008)


43    Friends of the Earth. 2007. Farmers speak out over the impact                 54     Carrefour. 2005. Suppliers’ Charter. [Online]
      of low milk prices. [Online]                                                         Available at: http://www.carrefour.com/docroot/groupe/C4com/
      Available at: http://www.tescopoly.org/images/stories/farm-                          Pieces_jointes/Carrefour%20Supplier%20Charter%20EN.pdf
      ers_speak_out_over_the0.pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)                               (Accessed 6 December 2008);


44    Ball, J. 2008. Retailers profit while growers are crucified.                         WalMart. Standards for Suppliers. [Online]
      The Grocer. [Online] 3 November.                                                     Available at: http://Walmartstores.com/download/2727.pdf
      Available at: http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/articles.aspx?page=                         (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      articles&ID=194689 (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                    55     CIES. About GSCP. [Online]
45    See, for example, Yates, L. 2008. Cut-price, What Cost?                              Available at: http://www.ciesnet.com/2-wwedo/2.2-
      How supermarkets can affect your chances of a healthy diet.                          programmes/2.2.gscp.background.asp
      [Online] National Consumer Council.                                                  (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      Available at: http://www.sustainweb.org/pdf/NCC217rr_cut-
      price_what_cost.pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                56     Sedex. The Supplier Ethical Data Exchange. [Online]
                                                                                           Available at: https://www.sedex.org.uk/bc/cm/site.php?root=
46    Walmart Watch. Low prices at a high cost: who really pays for                        19922 (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      Wal-Mart workers’ health care? [Online]
      Available at: http://Walmartwatch.com/pages/healthcare (Ac-                   57     BSCI homepage. [Online]
      cessed 6 December 2008)                                                              Available at: http://www.bsci-eu.com/
                                                                                           (Accessed 6 December 2008)
47    Cited in Friends of the Earth. 2003. Tesco: Exposed.
      Press briefing. [Online]                                                      58     BSCI. 2006. BSCI Code of Conduct. [Online]
      Available at: http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/tesco_ex-                      Available at: http://www.bsci-eu.com/dl.php?id=10132
      posed.pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                 (Accessed 6 December 2008)


48    Thomson StreetEvents. 2008. WMT - Q2 2009 Wal-Mart Stores                     59     Alam, K. et al. op.cit.
      Inc. Pre-Recorded Earnings Conference Call. Page 4. [Online]
      Available at: http://www.Walmartstores.com/download/3083.                     60     Wick, I. op.cit.
      pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                    61     SACOM. 2007. The Story of Toys Made in China for Wal-Mart.
49    Claeson, B. 2008. Sweatshop Solutions? Economic Ground                               [Online]
      Zero in Bangladesh and Wal-Mart’s Responsibility.                                    Available at: http://sacom.hk/wp-content/uploads/2008/07/
      SweatFree Communities. [Online]                                                      Walmart_reportsacomjun2007.pdf
      Available at http://www.sweatfree.org/docs/SFC_Sweatshop-                            (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      Solutions_loRes.pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                    62     £ 0.05. Hearson, M. & K. Alam. 2006. Fashion Victims:
50    Carrefour. 2007. Carrefour group building responsible relation-                      The true cost of cheap clothes at Primark, Asda and Tesco.
      ships. 2007 Sustainability Report. [Online]                                          War on Want. [Online]
      Available at: http://www.carrefour.com/docroot/groupe/C4com/                         Available at: http://www.waronwant.org/download.php?id=496
      Commerce%20responsable/Publications/RDD%202007%20                                    (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      GB.pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                    63     Birchall, J. 2005. Wal-Mart faces sweat-shop lawsuit.
                                                                                           Financial Times, [Online] 14 September.




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                                         71
     Available at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/35006716-24bb-11da-                        Available at: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2008/
     a5d0-00000e2511c8.html (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                  10/16/Walmart-garage.html (Accessed 6 December 2008)


64   Crabbé, C. & N. Leroy. 2007. op.cit.                                        78     £ 850,000. BBC News Online. 2006. Asda faces £ 850,000
                                                                                        tribunal cost. [Online] 10 February.
65   Pruett, D. 2005. Looking for a Quick Fix: How weak social                          Available at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/wear/4702236.
     auditing is keeping workers in sweatshops. [Online]                                stm (Accessed 6 December 2008)
     Clean Clothes Campaign.
     Available at: http://www.cleanclothes.org/ftp/05-quick_fix.pdf              79     US$ 2 billion. Greenhouse, S. 2008. Wal-Mart Faces Fine in
     (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                         Minnesota Suit Involving Work Breaks. New York Times, [Online]
                                                                                        2 July.
66   Los Angeles Times. The Wal-Mart Effect. [Online]                                   Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/02/business/
     Available at: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-Walmart-                          02Walmart.html (Accessed 6 December 2008)
     sg,1,1534896.storygallery (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                 80     Wal-Mart class website. 2008. [Online]
67   UNI Commerce. 2006. UNI Commerce Global Union forms a                              Available at: http://www.Walmartclass.com (Accessed 6 De-
     Tesco Alliance. [Online]                                                           cember 2008)
     Available at: http://www.union-network.org/UNIsite/Sectors/
     Commerce/Multinationals/Tesco_UNI_Commerce_Alliance.htm                     81     Geraud, A. 2008. Amendes records pour Carrefour, d’autres en-
     (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                         seignes sont sur le gril. Liberation. [Online] 28 October.Available
                                                                                        at: http://libelyon.blogs.liberation.fr/info/2008/10/amendes-
68   Birchall, J. 2006. Tesco job ads follow non-union line.                            record.html (Accessed 6 December 2008)
     Financial Times, [Online] 26 May.
     Available at: http://us.ft.com/ftgateway/superpage.ft?news_                 82     http://www.rtbf.be/info/societe/entreprises/carrefour-les-
     id=fto052620061752280764 (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                delegues-cne-56782


69   Teather, D. 2008. American unions bring Tesco fight to UK.                  83     Data from European Commission Market Access Database.
     The Guardian, [Online] 5 June.                                                     Available at: http://mkaccdb.eu.int/mkaccdb2/indexPubli.htm
     Available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2008/jun/05/                       (Accessed 6 December 2008)
     tesco.supermarkets (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                 84     Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association
70   Alam, K. et al. 2008. op.cit.                                                      (BGMEA). 2008. RMG export statistics. [Online]
                                                                                        Available at: http://bgmea.com.bd/index.php?option= com_c
71   Hamaan, A. 2006. The Black Book on Lidl in Europe.                                 ontent&task=view&id=56&Itemid=175 (Accessed 6 December
     Berlin: ver.di.                                                                    2008)


72   Markin, N. 2004. Corporate Scumbag: Aldi’s anti-union empire.               85     US$ 7.75 billion. Senthilkumar, M. & S. Sivakumar. 2006. Indian
     Green Left Weekly. [Online] 2 June.                                                textile industry in 2006: An overview. The Indian Textile Journal.
     Available at: http://www.greenleft.org.au/2004/584/32414                           [Online]Available at: http://www.indiantextilejournal.com/arti-
     (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                         cles/FAdetails.asp?id=692 (Accessed 6 December 2008)


73   Walmart spokesperson Jessica Moser, cited in Olson, K. 2002.                86     ibid
     Always a Rat Race, Never a Union. Texas Observer. [Online]
     15 February.                                                                87     Apparel Exporters Association (AEA) of Sri Lanka. Apparel
     Available at: http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P3-506710441.                           Industry. [Online]
     html (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                    Available at: http://www.garments.lk/apparel_industry.htm
                                                                                        (Accessed 6 December 2008)
74   Pier, C. 2007. Discounting Rights: Wal-Mart’s Violation of US
     Workers’ Right to Freedom of Association. Human Rights                      88     US$3.1billion. Board of Investment of Sri Lanka. Textile and
     Watch. [Online]                                                                    Apparels. [Online]
     Available at: http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2007/ 05/01/us-                      Available at: http://www.boi.lk/BOI2008/Is_textile_apparel.asp
     dom15797.htm (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                            (Accessed 6 December 2008)


75   ibid                                                                        89     Board of Investment of Thailand. 2003. Speech on Fashion
                                                                                        Industry in Thailand. [Online]
76   ibid                                                                               Available at: www.boi.go.th/english/download/business_sec-
                                                                                        tors/4/November_Fashion_speech_2003.pdf
77   CBC News. 2008. Wal-Mart closes shop where union contract                          (Accessed 6 December 2008)
     imposed. [Online]. 16 October.




72                                                             Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
90    US$7 billion. Thailand Textile Institute. 2008. Thai Textile and                     Available at: http://sundaytimes.lk/080309/FinancialTimes/
      Clothing Statistics. [Online]                                                        ft339.html (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      Available at: http://www.thaitextile.org/nstatistic/Thai %20Tex-
      tile%20Stat.%20Jan%2008.xls (Accessed 6 December 2008)                        103    Samaraweera, D. 2007. Garment workers in ‘Living Wage’
                                                                                           campaign to raise wages. The Sunday Times Online. [Online]
91    For a discussion of various means of calculating wages,                              23 September.
      see Setrini, G. 2005. Wages in the Apparel Industry:                                 Available at: http://sundaytimes.lk/070923/FinancialTimes/
      What constitutes a decent standard? Background paper for                             ft328.html (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      the Jo-In/MIT meeting on “Exploring common approaches to
      Corporate Accountability and Workers’ Rights” [Online]                        104    CCC field research report, Sri Lanka, August 2008, page 21
      Available at: http://www.cleanclothes.org/ftp/05-07-mit_
      living_wages.pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                   105    Centre for policy dialogue. 2003
                                                                                           http://www.cpd-bangladesh.org/publications/dr/DR-54.pdf
92    Ethical Trading Initiative. The Base Code. [Online]
      Available at: http://www.ethicaltrade.org/Z/lib/base/code_                    106    CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 16
      en.shtml (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                    107    CCC field research report, Bangladesh, August 2008, pages ,
93    Hearson, M. & A. Morser. 2007. Let’s Clean Up Fashion:                               page 39, 51
      2007 Update. [Online] Labour Behind the Label/War on Want.
      Available at: http://www.labourbehindthelabel.org/resources/                  108    ibid. Seven out of ten had workers earning a basic wage of Tk
      reports/20/190-lcuf2007 (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                   1662


94    Internal study, document held on file.                                        109    ibid, page 46


95    Labour Behind the Label. 2006. Bangladesh Wage Board An-                      110    ibid, page 37
      nounces New Minimum Wage. [Online]
      Available at: http://www.labourbehindthelabel.org/campaigns/                  111    ibid, page 37
      urgent/archive/41-bangladesh/144 (Accessed 6 December
      2008)                                                                         112    CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 34


96    Daily Star. 2008. Settle RMG wage-hike issue, govt asks trade                 113    CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 56
      bodies. [Online] 9 September.
      Available at: http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=55321                 114    CCC field research report, Sri Lanka, August 2008, page 21
      (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                    115    ibid, page 41
97    The Financial Express. 2008. Tk 4500 sought as minimum wage
      for garment workers. [Online] 1 September.                                    116    CCC field research report, Bangladesh, August 2008, pages
      Available at: http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.info/search_in-                      13-16, 23-25
      dex.php?page=detail_news&news_id=44250 (Accessed 6
      December 2008)                                                                117    ibid, page 16


98    All figures from Paycheck.in. 2008. Minimum Wages in India.                   118    ibid, pages 14, 24
      [Online]Available at: http://www.paycheck.in/main/officialmini-
      mumwages (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                           119    ibid, page 20


99    Study by GATWU, document on file, August 16, 2008, p.3                        120    CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 52


100   Board of Investment of Thailand. 2008. Cost of doing business                 121    ibid, page 52
      in Thailand. [Online].
      Available at: http://www.boi.go.th/english/how/demographic.                   122    ibid, page 75
      asp (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                    123    ibid, page 74
101   Yimprasaert. J.L. 2006. The Life of Football Factory Workers in
      Thailand. [Online] Thai Labour Campaign.                                      124    ibid, page 20
      Available at: http://www.cleanclothes.org/ftp/Life_football_
      workers_of_thailand.pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)                            125    ibid, page 52


102   Samaraweera, D. 2008. Rs 30 million campaign for garment                      126    ibid, page 54
      workers. The Sunday Times Online. [Online] 9 March.




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                                        73
127   ibid, page 53                                                                155    CCC field research report, Sri Lanka, August 2008, pages
                                                                                          13, 18
128   ibid, page 57
                                                                                   156    CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 62
129   ibid, page 58
                                                                                   157    CCC field research report, Thailand, July 2008
130   CCC field research report, Sri Lanka, August 2008, page 22
                                                                                   158    CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 75
131   ibid, page 42
                                                                                   159    ibid, page 58
132   International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). 2007.
      Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights. [Online]                  160    ibid, page 58
      Available at: http://survey07.ituc-csi.org/getcontinent.
      php?IDContinent=0&IDLang=EN (Accessed 6 December 2008)                       161    ibid, pages 74-75


133   ibid                                                                         162    ibid, page 76


134   ibid.                                                                        163    ibid, page 76


135   ibid.                                                                        164    ibid, page 40


136   ibid.                                                                        165    The ETI code can be found at:
                                                                                          http://www.ethicaltrade.org/Z/lib/base/code_en.shtml
137   ibid.
                                                                                   166    ibid, page 63
138   ibid.
                                                                                   167    CCC field research report, Bangladesh, August 2008, page 11
139   ibid.
                                                                                   168    Carrefour Group. The Group and its Suppliers. [Online]
140   ibid                                                                                Available at: http://www.carrefour.com/cdc/responsible-
                                                                                          commerce/our-social-and-ethical-approach/the-group-and-its-
141   CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 78                                 suppliers/ (Accessed 6 December 2008)


142   ibid, page 65                                                                169    Crabbé, C. & N. Leroy. 2007. op.cit.


143   CCC field research report, Bangladesh, August 2008, page 49                  170    Walmart Stores, Inc. 2006. Report on Ethical Sourcing. [Online]
                                                                                          Available at: http://Walmartfacts.com/reports/2006/ethical_
144   ibid, page 49                                                                       standards/documents/2006ReportonEthicalSourcing.pdf


145   ibid, page 36                                                                171    ibid


146   CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 64                          172    CCC has discussed what it means by ‘rigorously and effec-
                                                                                          tively’ elsewhere. See Pruett, D. 2005. op.cit.
147   ibid, page 39
                                                                                   173    CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 63
148   CCC field research report, Bangladesh, August 2008, page 32
                                                                                   174    ibid, page 63
149   ibid, page 32
                                                                                   175    ibid, page 31
150   ibid, pages 40-32
                                                                                   176    CCC field research report, Bangladesh, August 2008, page 40
151   CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 39
                                                                                   177    CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 31
152   Alam, K. et al. op.cit.
                                                                                   178    Crabbé, C. & N. Leroy. 2007. op.cit.
153   CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 61
                                                                                   179    CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 72
154   ibid, page 25
                                                                                   180    Wick, I. 2007. op.cit.




74                                                               Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
181   CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 72                                  polish-branch-of-tesco-pressures-producers
                                                                                           (Accessed 6 December 2008)
182   ibid, page 73
                                                                                    203    Mirdha, R.U. 2008. Wal-Mart wants rebate on garment orders.
183   Another recent report notes that, “some manufacturers with                           The Daily Star. [Online] 8 September.
      weak labour standards preferred dealing with agents rather                           Available at: http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=53804
      than with retailers’ or brands’ regional sourcing offices since                      (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      some agents have a reputation of being less strict on labour
      standards.” Impactt and Traidcraft Exchange. 2008.                            204    Rigby, E. 2008. Tesco to change payment terms for suppliers.
      Material Concerns: How responsible sourcing can deliver the                          Financial Times. [Online] 24 October.
      goods for business and workers in the garment industry. [Online]                     Available at: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/4be57cb4-a20d-11dd-
      Available at http://www.impacttlimited.com/wp-content/up-                            a32f-000077b07658.html?nclick_check=1
      loads/2008/10/garment-report.pdf                                                     (Accessed 6 December 2008)
      (Accessed 6 December 2008)
                                                                                    205    Hearson, M. & D. Eagleton. 2007. Who Pays? How British
184   CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 11                                  supermarkets are keeping women workers in poverty. London:
                                                                                           ActionAid. [Online]
185   ibid, page 11                                                                        Available at: http://www.actionaid.org.uk/doc_lib/actionaid_
                                                                                           who_pays_report.pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)
186   ibid, page 27
                                                                                    206    ibid
187   For example, workshops on “Fundamentals of Retail Link®
      Software” from Delta Associates Inc.                                          207    CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 50
      More information at: http://www.delta-assoc.com/RetailLink.
      htm (Accessed 6 December 2008)                                                208    ibid, page 50


188   CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 71                           209    ibid, page 51


189   ibid, page 73                                                                 210    ibid, page 51


190   ibid, page 14                                                                 211    CCC field research report, Thailand, July 2008.


191   ibid, page 77                                                                 212    ibid


192   ibid, page 24                                                                 213    CCC field research report, India, May 2008, page 28


193   ibid, page 25                                                                 214    ibid


194   ibid, page 15                                                                 215    Jacquiau, C. 2000. Les coulisses de la grande distribution.
                                                                                           Paris: Editions Albin Michel. pages 27-35
195   ibid, page 12
                                                                                    216    ibid, page 63, author’s own translation
196   ibid, page 13
                                                                                    217    Correlation between quality of the factory and quality of work-
197   ibid, page 56                                                                        ing conditions cited in CCC consultant interview, November
                                                                                           2008.
198   ibid, page 14
                                                                                    218    CCC field research report, Bangladesh, August 2008, page 50
199   ibid, page 51
                                                                                    219    CCC field research report, Sri Lanka, August 2008, page 39
200   ibid, pages 51-52
                                                                                    220    CCC field research report, Bangladesh, August 2008, page 10
201   Competition Commission. 2000. Supermarkets: A report on the
      supply of groceries from multiple stores in the United Kingdom.               221    ibid, page 32
      London: Competition Commission
                                                                                    222    ibid, page 24
202   The Poultry Site. 2008. Polish Branch of Tesco Pressures Pro-
      ducers. [Online] 7 November.                                                  223    ibid, page 48
      Available at: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/poultrynews/16380/




Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry                                                          75
224   ibid, page 49


225   ibid, page 49


226   ibid, page 29


227   ibid, page 39


228   ibid, page 51


229   ibid, page 19


230   ibid, page 47


231   CCC field research report, Sri Lanka, August 2008, page 42


232   CCC field research report, Bangladesh, August 2008, page 40


233   ibid, page 15


234   Clean Clothes Campaign. 1998. Code of Labour Practices for
      the Apparel Industry including Sportswear. [Online]
      Available at: http://www.cleanclothes.org/codes/ccccode.htm
      (Accessed 6 December 2008)


235   See Pruett, D. 2005. op.cit. and Clean Clothes Campaign. 2008.
      Full Package Approach to Labour Codes of Conduct. [Online]
      Available at: http://www.cleanclothes.org/ftp/Full_Package_
      Approach.pdf (Accessed 6 December 2008)


236   ILO Conventions 1, 29, 81, 87, 98, 100, 105, 111, 122, 131,
      135, 138, 154, 155, 159, 175, 177, 182, 183, 190.




76                                                          Cashing In Giant Retailers, Purchasing Practices, and Working Conditions in the Garment Industry
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